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This Day in History - 17th September


1701 King James II of England died whilst in exile in France.

1745 Prince Charles Edward Stewart or 'Bonnie Prince Charlie' as he was better known, arrived in Edinburgh and declared his father to be the rightful King of Scotland.


1827 'Wides' in cricket were first scored in the Sussex v Kent game at Brighton.


1877 William Henry Fox Talbot, English photographic pioneer, died. He made the earliest known surviving photographic negative in the late summer of 1835, with a photograph of the oriel window at his home at Lacock Abbey. 


1901 The birthday of Sir Francis Chichester, British yachtsman and aviation pioneer. He made a solo circumnavigation of the world at the age of 65 in his yacht Gipsy Moth IV.


1929 Stirling Moss, English racing driver, was born.


1939 World War II: A German U-boat U 29 sank the British aircraft carrier HMS Courageous. She sank in 20 minutes with the loss of 519 of her crew.


1944 The start of the Battle of Arnhem, part of Operation Market Garden, an attempt to secure a string of bridges through the Netherlands, in and around the Dutch town of Arnhem. Down Ampney church in Gloucestershire has a stained glass window in commemoration of the men who flew from RAF Down Ampney to Arnhem.


1944 Blackout regulations eased in Britain to allow lights on buses, trains and at railway stations for the first time since the beginning of World War II in 1939.


1961 Police made 1,314 arrests during sit-down demonstrations by CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) members in Trafalgar Square, London.


1985 The death, aged 60, of Laura Ashley, Welsh designer and fabric retailer.


1993 The British National Party won its first council seat in a by-election in East London, provoking fear in the local Asian community.


1998 There was chaos in Staffordshire, when animal rights activists release around 6,000 animals from a mink farm. Mink are now devastating British wildlife, so it was not a particularly wise or humanitarian move!


2000 Paula Yates, television personality and former wife of Bob Geldof, was found dead in bed from a suspected drug overdose. She was 40 years old.


2001 The opening of the Gateshead Millennium Bridge that spans the River Tyne between Gateshead's Quays arts quarter on the south bank, and the Quayside of Newcastle upon Tyne on the north bank. The bridge is sometimes referred to as the 'Blinking Eye Bridge' due to its shape and its tilting method to let tall ships pass underneath.


2007 Worried savers continued to flock to some Northern Rock bank branches to withdraw their savings when the bank applied to the Bank of England for emergency funds. Chancellor Alistair Darling appealed for calm, nevertheless £2bn was withdrawn from Northern Rock accounts in just 3 days.


2012 Italy's Chi magazine pushed ahead with its plan to publish a series of topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge, complete with a curt dismissal of the protests raised by the royal family.


2013 A wedding service at Holy Cross Church in Sherston, Wiltshire, was delayed for an hour when an owl that was bearing the wedding rings fell asleep in the church roof.