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The history of England - On This Day - 15th July


971 - According to the legend of St. Swithin, if it rains today, it will be the start of forty days of rain. St Swithin was bishop of Winchester Cathedral and asked to be buried outside it so that he would be exposed to ‘the feet of passers-by and the drops falling from above’.

1207 - England's King John expelled Canterbury monks for supporting the Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton. Langton was a central figure in the dispute between King John and Pope Innocent III, which was a contributing factor to the crisis which led to the issuing of Magna Carta in 1215.

1381 - John Ball, a leader in the Peasants' Revolt, was hanged, drawn and quartered in the presence of King Richard II. The revolt later came to be seen as a mark of the beginning of the end of serfdom in medieval England.

1815 - French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte surrendered to Captain Maitland aboard the English ship Bellerophon, at Rochefort, before being sent into exile on the island of St Helena.

1857 - 200 British men, women and children were chopped up by local butchers and thrown down a well at Cawnpore, as the Indian Mutiny continued.

1912 - National Insurance payments began in Britain.

2015 - The planned 'free vote' by MPs on weakening the hunting ban was dropped after the SNP decided to vote against the changes, even though they only affect England and Wales. Under the proposals, hunters in England and Wales would have been able to use a pack of dogs to flush out foxes before shooting them. There is currently a limit of two dogs.