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This Day in History - 1st November


1604 William Shakespeare's tragedy Othello was presented for the first time, at The Palace of Whitehall in London. The palace was the main residence of the English monarchs in London from 1530 until 1698. Seven years to the day, Shakespeare's romantic comedy The Tempest was also presented for the first time, and also at the Palace of Whitehall.

1688 William III of Orange set out from the Netherlands to invade England and to overthrow James II of England during the Glorious Revolution. William's successful invasion led to him ascending the English throne as William III of England jointly with his wife Mary II.


1762 The birth of Spencer Perceval who was later assassinated in the House of Commons. To date he is the only British Prime Minister to have been assassinated.


1765 Parliament enacted the Stamp Act on the 13 American colonies to help pay for British military operations there. The act required that many printed materials in the colonies be produced on stamped paper produced in London, carrying an embossed revenue stamp.


1848 WH Smith opened its first railway bookstall, at Euston Station in London.


1858 Following the bloody events of the Indian Mutiny, Queen Victoria was proclaimed ruler of India, replacing the reign of the East India Company.


1887 The birth of L.S Lowry, English artist, famous for his matchstick figures. The Lowry theatre and art gallery is at Salford Quays.


1914 World War I: The Royal Navy suffered its first defeat of the war with Germany at the Battle of Coronel, fought off the western coast of Chile. HMS Good Hope and HMS Monmouth were both sunk, with a combined loss of 1,570 lives and no survivors from either ship.


1922 The first radio licences went on sale in Britain at a cost of ten shillings (50p).


1927 Betting tax was first levied in Britain. Two days later the bookies went on strike at Windsor in protest.


1944 Britain's Home Guard, formed in 1939 to fight the expected German invasion, was ordered to disband.


1945 It was announced that all available evidence supported the theory that German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler had committed suicide in Berlin.


1956 Premium Bonds first went on sale in Britain with the winning numbers picked at random by a machine with the acronym 'ERNIE'. The first Premium Bond was bought by the then Lord Mayor of London, Sir Cuthbert Ackroyd.


1990 The UK's deputy Prime Minister, Sir Geoffrey Howe, resigned after disagreements over the government's European policy.


2014 A pilot was killed and another injured as Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo space tourism craft crashed in the California desert. Richard Branson said - "Space is hard - but worth it. We will persevere and move forward together."