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This Day in History - 4th November


1650 William III, King of England, Scotland and Ireland was born ..... in Holland. On the day after his 38th birthday he landed at Torbay with an army of English and Dutch troops, and when Parliament declared the throne empty, he was proclaimed king. These gilded statues of William III are in Portsmouth Dockyard  and in Hull. Hull was the first large city in Britain to swear their allegiance to the new King when he deposed James II in 1685.

1677 The future Mary II of England married William, Prince of Orange. They later jointly reigned as William and Mary.

1832 The birth, in Monmouthshire, of James James, harpist and musician from Pontypridd in South Wales. He composed the tune of the Welsh national anthem Hen Wlad fy Nhadau (also known as Land of my Fathers). This memorial to James James and his father Evan James, who wrote the lyrics, is in Ynysangharad Park, Pontypridd.

1839 The Newport Rising took place. It was the last large scale armed rebellion against authority in mainland Britain. Between 1,000 and 5,000 marched on the town of Newport in Monmouthshire, intent on liberating those who were reported to have been taken prisoner in the town's Westgate Hotel. 22 of their number were killed by the troops and upwards of 50 were wounded. See picture of the Chartist monument outside Newport's Westgate Hotel.

1852 For the first time in its history, journalists were allowed into the House of Commons to report debates.

1859 The death of Joseph Rowntree, British chocolate manufacturer and philanthropist.

1884 The birth of Henry George (Harry) Ferguson, Irish engineer and inventor who is noted for his role in the development of the modern agricultural tractor, for becoming the first Irishman to build and fly his own aeroplane, and for developing the first four-wheel drive Formula One car, the Ferguson P99.

1890 The Prince of Wales travelled by the underground electric railway from King William Street to the Oval to mark the opening of what is now the City Branch of the Northern Line. It was the first electrified underground railway system.

1900 Britain's first driving lessons were given, in London.

1922 English explorers Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter discovered the Tomb of King Tutankhamen, in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor, Egypt. It had been undisturbed since 1337 BC.

1929 Violinist Yehudi Menuhin made his London debut, aged 12.

1942 The Battle of El Alamein ended with victory for the allies, after 12 days of conflict with Rommel's 'Africa Corps'.

1952 Queen Elizabeth II opened her first Parliament.

1974 Judith Ward was convicted of an army coach bombing on the M62 motorway in which 12 people died. She received a life term for each of those who died. Her conviction was quashed in 1992 when her lawyers argued that the trial jury should have been told of her history of mental illness.

1987 Millionaire Peter de Savary bought Land’s End in Cornwall.

1994 400 years of shipbuilding came to an end at the Swan Hunter Shipyard, Tyneside, with the launch of the Royal Naval Frigate 'Richmond'. The yard stood empty for a few years, before it was bought by Jaap Kroese, a Dutch millionaire.

2011 Seven people were killed and 51 injured in a 34-vehicle pile-up on the M5 in Somerset. The accident happened close to junction 25 northbound and led to a 'massive fireball' at the scene.

2011 The magazine Woman's Weekly celebrated its 100th anniversary with a special exact facsimile re-publication of the very first edition. The 4th November 1911 edition sold around 500,000 copies and reached its peak in 1950 when it regularly sold more than two million copies a week. Quote from the publishing director Sandy Gale - "The past one hundred years of Woman’s Weekly provides a unique record of the lives of women and social issues of the last century and it remains as resolutely and proudly relevant to its hundreds of thousands of readers today."

2012 Reg Dean (from Wirksworth in Derbyshire) who was Britain's oldest man, celebrated his 110th birthday. He attributed his longevity to a 'mysterious medicine' given to him as a youth in India and to being 'a lazy-bones'. He died on 5th January 2013, aged 110 years and 63 days.

2014 Statistics from the 2011 census showed that Polish migrants had the highest employment rate of any nationality living in Britain, including the British. Results also showed that European migrants to the UK added £4.96bn more in taxes in the years to 2011 than they took out in public services