This Day in History - 18th September
1685 The Taunton Assize trials came in the aftermath of the Battle of Sedgemoor, which ended the Monmouth Rebellion in England. The trials were led by Lord Chief Justice George Jeffreys.
1709 Dr Samuel Johnson, English writer and compiler of the first English dictionary was born. Published in 1755, Johnson’s dictionary was the definitive reference for over a century.
1809 The Royal Opera House opened, in Covent Garden, Central London. It is the home of The Royal Opera, The Royal Ballet, and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House The current building is the third theatre on the site following disastrous fires in 1808 and 1857.
1911 Britain's first twin-engined aeroplane, the Short S.39, was test flown.
1914 The Irish Home Rule Act (intended to provide self-government for Ireland within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland) became law, but was delayed until after World War I.
1939 William Joyce, whose upper-class accent earned him the nickname Lord Haw-Haw, made his first Nazi propaganda broadcast from Germany to the UK.
1944 World War II: The British submarine HMS Tradewind torpedoed Junyō Maru, a Japanese cargo ship used to transport prisoners. It was the world's greatest sea disaster at the time with 5,620 dead. 723 survivors were rescued, only to be put to work in conditions similar to those of the Burma Railway where death was commonplace.
1949 The British pound was devalued by 30% by Chancellor Sir Stafford Cripps.
1949 Mo Mowlam, former Northern Ireland Secretary and Labour MP, was born. She was the Member of Parliament for Redcar from 1987 to 2001 and her time as Northern Ireland Secretary saw the signing, in 1998 of the historic Good Friday Peace Agreement. She died in 2005, aged 55, from a brain tumour.
1972 The first Ugandan refugees fleeing the persecution of the country's military dictatorship arrived in Britain.
1994 Warwickshire became the first side to win the County Cricket Championship, the Benson and Hedges Cup and the Sunday League title in one season.
2000 Survivors of the Southall and Ladbroke Grove rail crashes that killed 39 and injured more than 650, accused Railtrack of putting costs before safety.
2012 Two unarmed female police officers PC Nicola Hughes (23) and PC Fiona Bone (32) were killed in a gun and grenade ambush attack in Mottram - Greater Manchester. It led to the arrest of a wanted man Dale Cregan. Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said it was one of the force's 'darkest days'.
2014 A referendum was held in Scotland, with one single question on the ballot paper - "Should Scotland be an independent country?" The "No" side won, with 2,001,926 (55.3%) voting against independence and 1,617,989 (44.7%) voting in favour. The turnout of 84.6% was the highest recorded for an election or referendum in the United Kingdom
2014 The world famous golf club, the Royal & Ancient at St. Andrews, voted overwhelmingly to end its 260-year ban on female members, with immediate effect.