This Day in History - 4th May
1471The Battle of Tewkesbury, the last battle in the Wars of the Roses, took place. Edward IV defeated a Lancastrian Army and killed Edward, Prince of Wales.
1675King Charles II ordered the construction of the Royal Greenwich Observatory. It played a major role in the history of astronomy and navigation and is best known as the location of 0 degrees longitude, which has determined mapping co-ordinates since that time.
1780The first Derby was run at Epsom. The winner was Diomed. The idea of the race was first discussed in 1778 at a house party given by the 12th Earl of Derby and a toss of a coin settled the name. The other founder was Sir Charles Bunbury.
1827The birth of John Speke, the English explorer who discovered the source of the Nile.
1859The Cornwall Railway opened across the Royal Albert Bridge and linked the counties of Devon and Cornwall. The bridge spans the River Tamar between Plymouth, on the Devon bank, and Saltash on the Cornish bank.
1882The birth of Sylvia Pankhurst, English suffragette who was the third member of her family to fight for votes for women. Unlike her mother and sister, who believed that the vote should be for middle-class women, she wanted the vote for women of all classes.
1896The first British halfpenny newspaper, the Daily Mail, was published. It was the first paper to sell more than one million copies and was heralded as the birth date of modern journalism.
1904A provisional agreement was signed in Manchester’s Midland Hotel by the Hon. Charles Rolls, seller and repairer of motor cars, and Henry Royce, electrical engineer and builder of a single motor car. In 1907 the Rolls Royce Silver Ghost was the first of their many luxury models.
1923The birth of Eric Sykes, radio, television and film writer, actor and director whose performing career spanned more than 50 years. He frequently wrote for and / or performed with Tony Hancock, Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers.
1945World War II: The North Germany Army surrendered to British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery.
1953The Duke of Edinburgh was awarded his pilot's 'wings' during a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
1966Harold Wilson's government agreed to increase doctors' and dentists' salaries by up to 30% after fears that thousands of GP's would leave the Health Service for private practice.
1979The Conservative Party won the general election, making Margaret Thatcher Britain's first woman prime minister.
1982Twenty sailors were killed when the destroyer HMS Sheffield was hit by an Argentinian Exocet missile during the Falklands War. The Falklands National Monument in Cardiff bears the names of the 255 sailors, soldiers and airmen who died on the UK side.
2017 Buckingham Palce announced that the 95 year old Duke of Edinburgh would be retiring from royal duties in the autumn. At the time of the announcement the Duke was Patron, President or a member of over 780 organisations, with which he would continue to be associated, although he would no longer play an active role by attending engagements.