This Day in History - 12th Novmember
1555 Parliament re-established Catholicism.
1595 The death of Admiral Sir John Hawkins chief architect of the Elizabethan navy. Among his many other roles, he rebuilt older ships and helped design the faster ships that withstood the Spanish Armada in 1588.
1660 English author John Bunyan was arrested for preaching without a licence. He refused to give up preaching and remained in jail for 12 years.
1847 The first public demonstration of the use of chloroform as an anaesthetic was given by James Simpson, at Edinburgh University.
1911 Birth of Reverend Chad Varah, founder of the Samaritans, the voluntary group who counsel those in distress. Originally established at St Stephen’s Church, London, it provides a service day and night, every day of the year. (Reverend Chad Varah died on 8th November 2007, aged 95.)
1912 The remains of English explorer Robert Scott and his companions were found on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica. Scott's party had reached the South Pole on 17th January 1912, only to find that they had been preceded by Roald Amundsen's Norwegian expedition. Scott and his four comrades all perished on the return journey from a combination of exhaustion, starvation and extreme cold.
1919 The first flight from England to Australia started at Hounslow, with Ross and Smith in a Vickers Vimy. They landed safely on 13th December 1919.
1928 The birth, in South Africa of Bob Holness, English radio and television presenter. He is best known for presenting the British version of the quiz show Blockbusters, but also presented the quiz shows Take a Letter, Raise the Roof and Call My Bluff.
1944 The RAF launched 29 Avro Lancaster bombers in one of the most successful precision bombing attacks of war and sank the German battleship Tirpitz, the last of the major German battleships.
1974 A salmon was caught in the Thames, the first since around 1840. It was an 8lb 4 1/2oz female and she was discovered entangled in the protective nets around West Thurrock power station It was regarded by Thames Water authority as a vindication of the £100m they had spent on effluent control.
1984 It was announced, by Chancellor Nigel Lawson, that the pound note, after being in circulation for more than 150 years, would be phased out and replaced with the pound coin.
1997 Train robber Ronnie Biggs, was celebrating after Brazil's Supreme Court rejected a British request to extradite him, for the 2nd time. The court in Rio de Janeiro ruled that because Biggs' crime was committed more than 20 years previously he could not be extradited.
2001 Greece held 12 plane-spotting British 'spies' to carry out further inquiries. All were arrested for allegedly taking photographs at an air show at a military base.
2014 Police killer Harry Roberts was released from prison. Roberts, now aged 78, was jailed for life for murdering three unarmed officers in Shepherd's Bush, west London, in 1966.