This Day in History - 27 April
1296An English army, led by Edward I, defeated the Scots at the Battle of Dunbar, the only significant field action in the campaign of 1296. The English routed the disorganised Scots in a single charge, in action that was brief and probably not very bloody, since the only casualty of any note was a minor Lothian knight.
1667The blind, impoverished John Milton sold the copyright of Paradise Lost for £10.
1749The first official performance of Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks in Green Park, London. It finished early due to the outbreak of fire, but Handel stuck to his conducting, whilst the audience ran for their lives!
1828The opening of the London Zoological Gardens in Regent's Park, London. Lady visitors were politely requested to refrain from poking the beasts through the bars of the cages.
1840Edward Whymper, English mountaineer who was the first to climb the Matterhorn, was born.
1840The foundation stone for the new Palace of Westminster (also known as the Houses of Parliament or Westminster Palace) was laid by the wife of the architect Sir Charles Barry.
1927The birth of Sheila (Christine) Scott, English aviator who broke 104 light aircraft records and was the first to fly solo over the North Pole. Despite this, she failed her driving test three times. Her flying endeavours were always under-financed and when funds ran out, she was left to a sad and lonely retirement.
1937King George VI officially opened the National Maritime Museum.
1939Conscription for men aged 20 - 21 was announced in Britain.
1943Judy Johnson rode Lone Gallant in a steeplechase in Baltimore to become the first woman jockey to ride as a professional.
1944The birth of Michael Fish, British meteorologist. He became infamous in the wake of the Great Storm of 1987 when it was rumoured that there a hurricane on the way to which he commented 'Well, if you're watching, don't worry, there isn't!' That evening, the worst storm to hit South East England since 1703 caused record damage and killed 18 people.
1971Police were forced to physically remove demonstrators from the entrance of a courtroom after they disrupted proceedings inside. Eight people were accused of conspiring to damage, remove or destroy English language road signs in Wales during a rally in December 1970. It was regarded as a major event in the struggle for greater recognition of the Welsh Language.