This Day in History - 18th July
1389 France and Britain agreed to the Truce of Leulinghem. It inaugurated a 13-year peace; the longest period of sustained peace during the Hundred Years' War.
1817Jane Austen, English novelist of Pride and Prejudice died, aged 41 at this house on College Street in Winchester. She was buried at Winchester Cathedral.
1848William Gilbert Grace, cricketing legend, was born. Grace was important in the development of the sport and was universally known as W.G. He played first-class cricket for a record-equalling 44 seasons, from 1865 to 1908, during which he captained England, Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, the Gentlemen, MCC and the United South of England Eleven.
1872Britain introduced the concept of voting by secret ballot.
1892The death of Thomas Cook, founder of the travel agency that became the Thomas Cook Group in 2007. This statue of Thomas Cook is outside Leicester Railway Station, where he organized, in 1861, the first publicly advertised railway excursion to a temperance meeting at Loughborough.
1901 The water supply was turned off in Manchester as a heat wave hit the U.K. with the temperature reaching 35 degrees Centigrade.
1920The unveiling of the Cenotaph War memorial in Whitehall, London to commemorate the war dead. It was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and takes its name from the Greek words kenos and taphos meaning empty tomb.
1923Under the Matrimonial Causes Bill, British women were given equal divorce rights with men.
1934The official opening, by King George V, of the first Mersey Road Tunnel in Liverpool.
1950Richard Branson, English entrepreneur, was born. According to the Forbes 2011 list of billionaires, Branson is the 4th richest citizen of the United Kingdom.
1970Radio 1 DJ Kenny Everett was sacked after he joked on air that the wife of the conservative transport minister Mary Peyton had 'crammed a fiver into the examiner's hand', when taking her driving test.
1975Former British MP John Stonehouse was flown back from Australia to face charges relating to his attempt to falsify his own death.
1992John Smith was elected leader of the Labour party, with Margaret Beckett as his deputy.
2000Police confirmed that the body they had found in a West Sussex field the previous day was that of missing eight-year old Sarah Payne. Her murderer, Roy Whiting, was convicted in December 2001 and sentenced to life imprisonment.
2003The body of government scientist Dr. David Kelly was found in woodland, in Oxfordshire. Dr. Kelly had been at the centre of a row between the British Government and the BBC about the use of intelligence reports in the run up to the war against Iraq.
2009Henry Allingham, the world's oldest man and one of the last surviving World War I servicemen, died, aged 113.