This Day in History - 17th July
924 The death of Edward the Elder, King of the Anglo-Saxons. He was largely ignored by modern historians until the 1990s, when historian Nick Higham described him as 'perhaps the most neglected of English kings'. Edward's reputation rose in the late twentieth century, and he is now seen as destroying the power of the Vikings in southern England, and laying the foundations for a south-centred united English kingdom.
1453In the last battle of the Hundred Years' War ( the Battle of Castillon) the French, under Jean Bureau, defeated the English, under the Earl of Shrewsbury, who was killed in the battle.
1674The birth of Isaac Watts, English hymn writer. He was a prolific and popular hymn writer and is credited with some 650 hymns. Many of his hymns remain in use today including Joy to the World, O God, Our Help in Ages Past and When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.
1717King George I sailed down the River Thames for a concert, in a barge with 50 musicians. It was the premiere of Frideric Handel's Water Music which George I was said to have enjoyed so much that he made the exhausted musicians play the three suites three times over the course of the outing.
1761The official opening of the Bridgewater canal, built to transport the Duke of Bridgewater's coal from his mine at Worsley, near Manchester.
1841The first issue of the humorous magazine Punch was published in London. It ceased publication in 1992 but was re-launched in 1996.
1917World War 1: The British Royal Family, in a proclamation issued by George V, adopted the name of the House of Windsor in place of their German family name of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha due to the anti-German sentiment at the time.
1923The birth of John Cooper. He developed the British Motor Corporation Mini Cooper, adored by rally racers and ordinary drivers.
1960The Beatles began a three-month engagement at The Indra Club in Hamburg, Germany, their first appearance outside Britain.
1964British speed pioneer Sir Donald Campbell set a new land speed world record of 403.10 mph in his car, Bluebird.
1981The Humber Estuary Bridge was officially opened by the Queen. For 16 years after its construction it was the world's longest single-span structure.
2000Tesco decided to revive imperial measures in its stores after shoppers' pressure.
2001Michael Portillo was dropped from the Tory leadership contest after coming third in a final ballot of MPs.
2014Retired Det. Sgt. Jack Tasker, a former detective with Lancashire Police said that three investigations into Cyril Smith sex abuse allegations were stopped, claiming that senior officers ordered him to hand over notes and warned he would be "in serious trouble" if he continued the investigation. Smith was MP for Rochdale from October 1972 – April 1992. After his death in 2010 numerous allegations of child sexual abuse emerged (including many made during his lifetime), leading the police to believe that Smith was a serial sex offender.