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This Day in History - 17th August


1483 The date presumed that two young princes, the uncrowned Edward V and his brother Richard, Duke of York, were killed in the Tower of London.

1743 John "Jack" Broughton, English bare-knuckle boxer published a set of rules to control boxing and introduced boxing gloves. The new rules forbade hitting an opponent when he was down, kicking, gouging head butting and grasping an opponent below the waist.

1796 English ships, under the command of Admiral George Keith Elphinstone, were responsible for trapping the Dutch Fleet in Saldanha Bay, South Africa, paving the way for South Africa becoming part of the British Empire.

1836 Under the Registration Act, the compulsory registration of births, deaths and marriages was introduced in Britain.

1869 The first international boat race took place on the River Thames when Oxford beat Harvard.

1896 Mrs. Bridget Driscoll of Croydon, Surrey, became the first pedestrian in Britain to die after being hit by a car. It is said she froze in panic at the sight of the oncoming car, which was travelling at just four miles per hour.

1926 The birth, in Liverpool, of George Melly, English jazz singer.

1939 The birth, in Blackburn, Lancashire of English actor Anthony Valentine. He is best known for his roles on television, most notably the ruthless Toby Meres in the series Callan (1967–72) and the sinister Luftwaffe Officer, Major Horst Mohn in the BBC drama Colditz.

1943 World War II: The Royal Air Force began 'Operation Hydra', the first air raid of the Operation Crossbow strategic bombing campaign against Germany's V-1 flying bombs.

1957 The birth of Robin Cousins, ice-skater. He was the 1980 Olympic gold medal champion, the 1980 European champion, a three-time (1978, 1979 & 1980) World medallist and four-time (1977, 1978, 1979 & 1980) British national champion.

1958 Britain announced plans to continue nuclear testing on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean.

1989 Electronic tagging was used for the first time in Britain, on Richard Hart, accused of theft.

1990 The National Trust for Scotland admitted that the Glenfinnan monument, marking the spot where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard in 1745 was almost certainly in the wrong place and was probably chosen for its scenic value.

1992 It was announced that 9 pigs were to take part in Britain's first pig race in Bellingham. The favourites in the race were Lester Piglet and Miss Piggy.

2000 Prince William passed three A-levels and secured a place to study history of art at the oldest university in Scotland, St Andrews.