This Day in History - 18th May
1152Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine, married Henry Plantagenet (later Henry II of England). She had been divorced two months earlier from King Louis VII of France.
1593Playwright Thomas Kyd's accusations of heresy lead to an arrest warrant for fellow playwright Christopher Marlowe. No reason for the arrest was given, though a manuscript believed to have been written by Marlowe was said to contain 'vile heretical conceipts'. Twelve days later, Marlowe was stabbed to death by Ingram Frizer.
1756The Seven Years' War began when Britain declared war on France.
1812John Bellingham was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging for the assassination of British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval seven days earlier. To date, Perceval is the only Prime Minister to have been assassinated.
1830Englishman Edwin Budding signed an agreement for his invention, the lawn mower, to go into mass production. His first customer was Regent's Park Zoo in London.
1872Bertrand Russell, English philosopher, mathematician and Nobel Prize recipient, was born. He was imprisoned during the First World War for his outspoken pacifism and was one of the founders of the Committee of 100, advocating nuclear disarmament.
1882The official opening of the Eddystone Lighthouse, the fourth lighthouse to be built on the site.
1919Margot Fonteyn, English ballet dancer was born.
1944Monte Cassino, Italy, was taken by Allied forces during World War II. The ancient Italian monastery had been a symbol of German resistance since the beginning of the year.
1951Britain’s first four-engined jet bomber, the Vickers Valiant, made its maiden flight.
1954The European Convention on Human Rights came into force.
1964Scores of youths were given prison sentences following violent clashes between gangs of Mods and Rockers at a number of resorts on the south coast of England.
1969Britain’s champion motor racing driver, Graham Hill, won his fifth and record-breaking Monaco Grand Prix.
1991Chemist Helen Sharman from Sheffield was the first English person to go into space, as a participant in a Soviet space mission.
1998High Society burglar Peter Scott was jailed for 3 years after being involved in a plot to sell a stolen Picasso painting worth £750,000.