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This Day in History - 29th September


1399 The first English monarch to abdicate, Richard II, was replaced by Bolingbroke, who ascended the throne as Henry IV.

1650 Henry Robinson opened the first marriage bureau, in England.


1696 After nearly 150 years of neglect, the roof of Howden Minster collapsed. The minster ruins were left where they fell until 1748 when the site was cleared, and the townsfolk took building stones for their own. St. John of Howden was one of the earliest Canons of Howden and he was treated as a saint by the local community after his death, although he has not been officially canonised. Pilgrims, including Kings Edward I, Edward II and Henry V visited the Minster to see his tomb.


1755 Robert Lord Clive, (Clive of India), founder of the British empire in India, was born.


1758 Lord Horatio Nelson was born, in the village of Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk. He defeated the French and her allies on numerous occasions during the age of Napoleon Bonaparte and was naval hero at the Battle of Trafalgar. Nelson's parents were married in St. Michael's Parish Church, Beccles, Suffolk. 


1793 Tennis was mentioned for the first time in an English sporting magazine.


1829 The Metropolitan Police of London, later also known as the Met. was inaugurated and was London's first regular police force, The officers became known as 'bobbies' after Robert Peel, the home secretary who founded the modern police force.


1885 The first practical, public electric tramway in the world was opened in Blackpool. 


1913 The birth of Trevor Howard, film, stage and television actor. Over time he became one of Britain's finest character actors whose works included such films as Mutiny on the Bounty, Von Ryan's Express, The Charge of the Light Brigade, Ryan's Daughter, Superman, Gandhi and Brief Encounter which was partially shot at Carnforth railway station and the station's buffet room.


1938 England, France, Germany and Italy signed the Munich Pact, under which the Sudetenland was given to Nazi Germany. In return, Hitler promised not to make any further territorial demands in Europe. World War II began the following year!


1942 The small market town of Somerton in Somerset was hit by four Luftwaffe bombs. The bombs were aimed at the Cow and Gate milk factory at nearby Etsome which was largely destroyed. Nine people were killed and a further thirty seven injured. The civilians who died are commemorated on Somerton's War Memorial.


1946 BBC launched the 'Third Programme', later to become Radio 3.


1952 British and world water speed record holder John Cobb was killed on Loch Ness in Scotland when his craft 'Crusader' broke up after hitting waves at 240 mph close to Urquhart Castle. 


1956 Sebastian Coe was born. As a 1500m runner he won Olympic gold in 1980 & 1984. He headed the successful London bid (2005) to host the 2012 Summer Olympics and became chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games.


1963 The Rolling Stones started their first tour, as the opening act for Bo Diddley and the Everly Brothers.


1997 British scientists said they had established a link between a human brain disease - vCJD - and one found in cows - BSE.


2007 Calder Hall, the world's first commercial nuclear power station, was demolished in a controlled explosion. When it closed on 31st March 2003, the first reactor had been in use for nearly 47 years.


2011 Britons basked in record-breaking temperatures of 29C (84F). The mercury peaked in the East Midlands, beating the previous 29th September high of 27.8C (82F), which was recorded in York in 1895.