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The History of England - On this Day - 22nd March - Remembering Westminster Bridge


871 - The Battle of Marton, took place at a place recorded as Marton, perhaps in Wiltshire or Dorset. King Æthelred of Wessex (who reigned from 865 - 871) and Prince Alfred fought against the Danes. After 'much slaughter' the Danes remained masters of the field. It was the last of the battles known to be fought by Æthelred against the Danes that year, and the defeated King is reported to have died in April 871. Mary Cooper published the first book of English nursery rhymes. Called Tommy Thumb's Song Book, it included Baa Baa Black Sheep, whose 'three bags full' is thought to refer to a tax imposed on the wool trade in 1275.

1785 - The birth, in the village of Dent, of Adam Sedgwick, an English geologist and one of the founders of modern geology. Sedgwick guided the young Charles Darwin in his early study of geology, but was an opponent of Darwin's theory of evolution.

1824 purchased 38 paintings (cost £57,000) to establish a national collection now at the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London.

1888 English Football League was founded when 12 clubs met at a hotel in Fleet Street, London.

1906 first rugby international between France and England in Paris ended with a 35-0 victory to England.

1926 first directional road markings were introduced onto Enlgish roads (Hyde Park Corner, London). They caused confusion and led to seven accidents on the first day.

1954 since 1939, the London bullion market, a market for trading gold and silver, reopened.

1997 Hale-Bopp made its closest approach to Earth in the skies over the northern hemisphere. The comet’s next pass is predicted for the year 4397.

2006 Christian Peacemaker Team hostages were freed by UK forces in Baghdad after 118 days of captivity and the death of their colleague, American Tom Fox.

2015 - The coffin of Richard III, the last Plantagenet king, visited locations in Leicestershire associated with his final days, ahead of the reinterment at Leicester Cathedral on 26th March. More than 5,000 white, hand-made roses were placed along the route of Richard III's cortege to raise awareness of missing people.

2017 - Four members of the public were killed and fifty injured at Westminster in a terrorist incident on Westminster Bridge. The terrorist, who was attempting an assault on the Houses of Parliament, was shot and killed after he drove his car at pedestrians on the bridge and knifed PC Keith Palmer to death.