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This Day in History - 14th October


1066 The Battle of Hastings was fought, on Senlac Hill, near Pevensey. An English army, commanded by King Harold, was defeated by the invasion force of William of Normandy. Harold was killed and Edgar the Ætheling was proclaimed king, but never crowned. William I 'The Conqueror' and the first Norman King of England, was subsequently crowned at Westminster Abbey on 25th December 1066.

1322 Robert the Bruce of Scotland defeated King Edward II of England at the Battle of Old Byland in Yorkshire, forcing Edward to accept Scotland's independence. 


1586 Mary, Queen of Scots, went on trial for conspiracy against Elizabeth I of England. She was convicted on 25th October and sentenced to death, but Elizabeth hesitated initially to order her execution concerned that the killing of a queen set a discreditable precedent.


1633 King James II, youngest son of Charles I was born. His pro-Catholic stand led to his overthrow by William of Orange.


1644 The Birth of William Penn, the English Quaker leader who founded a Quaker colony named Pennsylvania in his honour.


1843 The British arrested the Irish nationalist Daniel O'Connell for conspiracy to commit crimes. O'Connell campaigned for the right of Catholics to sit in Parliament and the repeal of the Act of Union which combined Great Britain and Ireland.


1878 The first football match played under floodlights took place at Bramhall Lane, Sheffield, in front of a crowd of just under 20,000. Two generators positioned behind each goal powered lights on 30 ft. high wooden towers situated at each corner of the field. The light was deemed so bright that some ladies present put up their parasols to protect themselves from being burned!


1881 189 men died when the Berwickshire fishing fleet was caught in a hurricane. The tragedy, which became known locally as Black Friday, remains Scotland's worst fishing disaster.


1913 Britain's worst pit disaster. More than 400 miners were killed in an explosion down a mine at Senghenydd in Glamorgan, S. Wales.


1929 The world's largest airship, the R101, made its maiden voyage.


1939 The Royal Navy battleship, HMS Royal Oak, was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine while at harbour in Scapa Flow, off the northern coast of Scotland, a little more than a month after the start of World War II. 810 British seamen were killed.


1940 Cliff Richard was born. His first hit was 'Move It'.


1969 Ahead of the complete changeover to decimalization, Britain scrapped the 10 shilling note and introduced the 50 pence coin.


1983 Cecil Parkinson, Trade and Industry Secretary, resigned after revelations about his affair with his former secretary Sara Keays.


1986 An historic moment for Queen Elizabeth II as she became the first British monarch to walk along the Great Wall of China.


2013 The death of Grace Jones, the oldest person in the UK, at the age of 113 years 342 days. She was the last living British person to be born in the 1800s.