This Day in History- 19th May

 

1499www.beautifulbritain.co.ukCatherine of Aragon (aged 12) was married by proxy to Arthur Tudor, the Prince of Wales (aged 12).

1536www.beautifulbritain.co.ukAnne Boleyn, King Henry VIII's second wife, was beheaded in London. She was 29 years old. Although the evidence against her was unconvincing, the charges brought included incest with her brother and no less than four counts of adultery.

 

1568www.beautifulbritain.co.ukQueen Elizabeth I ordered the arrest of Mary, Queen of Scots. Mary had previously claimed Elizabeth's throne as her own and was considered the legitimate sovereign of England by many English Catholics. After 18 years and 9 months in custody, Mary was tried and executed for her involvement in plots to assassinate Elizabeth.

 

1585www.beautifulbritain.co.ukEnglish shipping in Spanish ports was confiscated. This served as a declaration of war.

 

1662www.beautifulbritain.co.ukThe Act of Uniformity gave consent to the revised English Prayer Book and denied the right to take up arms against the king. Presbyterianism in the Church was destroyed and many ministers who did not confirm were ejected. A Licensing Act forbade imports of literature contrary to Christian faith.

 

1845www.beautifulbritain.co.ukCaptain Sir John Franklin and his ill-fated Arctic expedition departed from Greenhithe in Kent. The entire crew of 129 perished from starvation, hypothermia, tuberculosis, lead poisoning and scurvy whilst attempting to chart and navigate a section of the Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic.

 

1879www.beautifulbritain.co.ukThe birth of American Nancy Witcher Astor, the first woman to take her seat in the House of Commons. She was the wife of William Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount, English politician and former proprietor of the Observer newspaper.

 

1898www.beautifulbritain.co.ukThe death of William Gladstone, British statesman and Prime Minister. 

 

1935www.beautifulbritain.co.ukT.E. Lawrence, English soldier and writer (known to the world as Lawrence of Arabia) died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash close to his retreat in Dorset.

 

1940www.beautifulbritain.co.ukChurchill made his first broadcast as Prime Minister and called Nazism "the foulest and most soul-destroying tyranny that has ever darkened and stained the pages of history."

 

1984www.beautifulbritain.co.ukJohn Betjeman, English poet died.

 

1997www.beautifulbritain.co.ukHealth Secretary Frank Dobson announced that the sponsorship of sports events by tobacco firms was to be outlawed. It gave a temporary exemption for Formula One motor-racing, whose owner, Bernie Ecclestone, had earlier donated £1m to the Labour Party.

 

2004www.beautifulbritain.co.ukSecurity at the House of Commons came under scrutiny after Fathers For Justice protesters attacked Tony Blair, the prime minister.

 

2009www.beautifulbritain.co.ukCommons Speaker Michael Martin told MPs he intended to stand down, so becoming the first Commons Speaker to be effectively forced out of office for 300 years. He had faced criticism over his handling of the MPs' expenses issue.

 

2013www.beautifulbritain.co.ukAt 1:00 p.m. BST the aircraft carrier Ark Royal left Portsmouth Harbour for the final time, to be towed to Turkey for scrap. The Royal Navy's former flagship had been decommissioned early following the 2010 defence review. A bid to sink Ark Royal and turn her into an artificial diving reef off the Devon coast was rejected as were plans for a commercial heliport in London, a nightclub and school in China and a casino in Hong Kong.

 

2014www.beautifulbritain.co.ukThe extradited radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, who rose to prominence for his fiery sermons at a north London mosque, was found guilty in New York of supporting terrorism. The jury reached a unanimous guilty verdict on all 11 terror charges.


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