This Day in History - 15th June
1215King John agreed to put his royal seal on the Magna Carta, or Great Charter of English liberties, at Runnymede, near Windsor. The document was the first to be forced onto an English King by a group of his subjects. It was essentially a peace treaty between John and his barons, guaranteed the nobles their feudal privileges and promised to maintain the nation's laws.
1330The birth of Edward the Black Prince, eldest son of Edward III. He married his cousin Joan, ‘The Fair Maid of Kent’, who gave him two sons, one of whom was the future Richard II.
1381Wat Tyler - leader of the Peasants' Revolt, was killed at Smithfield in London. Richard II had agreed to meet the leaders of the revolt, and listen to their demands. What was said between Tyler and the king is largely conjecture but by all accounts the unarmed Tyler was suddenly attacked without warning and killed by the Lord Mayor of London, Sir William Walworth, and John Cavendish, a member of the king's group. This unprovoked betrayal of the truce flag and Tyler's killing threw the people into a panic. Not being organized as a military force, they broke ranks and began to flee for their lives.
1825The foundation stone of the New London Bridge was laid by ‘the grand old’ Duke of York. It now spans an artificial lake in Arizona.
1860British nurse Florence Nightingale, famous for tending British wounded during the Crimean War, opened a school for nurses at St Thomas's Hospital in London.
1876 The opening of the Newcastle Swing Bridge, designed and constructed by Sir W.G. Armstrong who lived at Cragside. The bridge was first used for road traffic On This Day in 1876 and opened for river traffic on the 17th July in the same year. At the time of its construction it was the world's largest swing bridge.
1909Representatives from England, Australia and South Africa met at Lords and formed the Imperial Cricket Conference. It was renamed the International Cricket Conference in 1965. The ICC has 105 members including 10 Full Members that play official Test matches.
1911 The birth of the Reverend Wilbert Vere Awdry, English Anglican cleric, railway enthusiast, and children's author. He was the creator of Thomas the Tank Engine, the central figure in his acclaimed railway stories.
1928The House of commons voted to fix the date of Easter. However, a clause in the Bill allowed the consideration of the opinions of all the major churches and the Act was never put in force.
1929 Bentley's occupied the first four places at the finish of the Le Mans 24 hour race in France.
1940World War II: Operation Ariel began and allied troops started to evacuate France, following Germany's takeover of Paris and most of the nation.
1971Opposition grew to Education Secretary Margaret Thatcher's plans to end free school milk for children over the age of seven and some Labour controlled councils threatened to put up the rates in order to continue supplying free milk.
1993James Hunt, English racing driver and 1976 Formula One world champion died from a heart attack, aged 45. His charisma and charm both on and off the track brought a whole new fanbase to the sport of Formula One.
1998Britain introduced a £2 coin.