This Day in History - 27th September
1066 William the Conqueror and his army set sail from the mouth of the Somme River in Picardy, northern France, beginning the Norman Conquest of England.
1598 The birth, in Bridgwater, Somerset of Robert Blake, military commander and one of the most famous English admirals of the 17th century. He was nicknamed 'Father of the Royal Navy'.
1672 A new British company, the 'Royal Africa Company' was given a monopoly of the African slave trade to America, with discounts for those who purchased entire shiploads.
1825 The world’s first public railway service began with the opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway. Built by George Stephenson, the track was 27 miles long, and the steam locomotive Active pulled 32 passenger wagons at ten miles per hour.
1849 The opening, by Queen Victoria, of Newcastle's High Level Bridge. It was designed by Robert Stephenson to form a rail link towards Scotland for the developing English railway network.
1871 The inauguration of Rochdale Town Hall, a Grade I listed building, described by art critic Nikolaus Pevsner as possessing a 'rare picturesque beauty'. It's said that Adolf Hitler admired it so much that he wished to ship the building, brick-by-brick, to Nazi Germany had the United Kingdom been defeated in the Second World War.
1888 The first use of the name, 'Jack the Ripper' in an anonymous letter to the Central News Agency. He went on to kill five women, and it's believed he may have been responsible for the deaths of four more.
1938 The 83,000 ton liner 'Queen Elizabeth' was launched at John Brown's Yard on Clydebank in Scotland by the Queen Mother. With her sister ship Queen Mary, she provided luxury liner service between Southampton and New York via Cherbourg in France.
1960 Bank Underground Station in London opened Europe's first 'moving pavement' .
1967 The Queen Mary arrived in Southampton at the end of its last transatlantic voyage.
1968 The musical Hair, (which took advantage of the end of British stage censorship by including a scene cast in the nude), had its first London performance. It played 1,998 performances until its closure was forced by the roof collapsing in July 1973.
1979 Gracie Fields, the Rochdale born wartime singer, died aged 81, in Canzone Del Mare, Capri. Her most famous song was 'Sally' which she sang at nearly every performance she made from 1931 onwards.
1979 The BBC's Question Time aired for the first time, chaired by Robin Day, who stayed with the programme for ten years.
1987 Tony Jacklin led a team of 12 golfers, including Seve Ballesteros, to win the Ryder Cup. It was the first time the US team had been defeated on their home ground.
1991 The first Scrabble Championship was held in London, with 20 countries competing.
2011 David Croft died, aged 89. He was particularly noted for producing and co-writing a string of popular BBC sitcoms including Dad's Army, 'Allo 'Allo!, Hi-De-Hi!, Are You Being Served?, You Rang M’Lord? and It Ain't Half Hot Mum.
2014 Amy Hughes, a 26-year-old sports therapist, from Oswestry in Shropshire set a new world record by running 53 marathons in 53 consecutive days. The money she raised was for the Isabelle Lottie Foundation, set up after her friend's daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
2016 The late Sir Terry Wogan (who died on 31st January 2016) was honoured in a special memorial service live in Westminster Abbey, on the 50th anniversary of his first BBC radio broadcast.