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This Day in History - 4th September


1588 The death of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, a favourite and possible lover of Queen Elizabeth I. When his wife Amy died after falling down the stairs, it was widely rumoured that Dudley had murdered her in order to marry Elizabeth. The Queen rejected him, even proposing that he wed Mary, Queen of Scots.

1609 English navigator Henry Hudson, working for the Dutch East India Company, arrived at the island of Manhattan, before sailing up the river that now bears his name.


1739 Curry's Point - Whitley Bay where Michael Curry was executed for the murder of the landlord of the Three Horseshoes Inn, Hartley. His body was afterwards hung in chains from a gibbit at this spot within sight of the scene of his crime.


1815 Sir Humphrey Davy invented the miner's safety lamp.


1860 The first weather forecast appeared in The Times.


1884 Britain stopped sending convicts to New South Wales in Australia.


1893 Beatrix Potter introduced Peter Rabbit, Squirrel Nutkin, Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail in an illustrated note to her governess’s five-year-old son, Noel Moore.


1901 The birth, in Blackpool, of Sir William Lyons, known as 'Mr. Jaguar'. He was, with fellow motorcycle enthusiast William Walmsley, the co-founder in 1922 of the Swallow Sidecar Company, which became Jaguar Cars Limited after the war. The first 'Jaguar' model, under the company name of SS Cars Ltd. was offered in 1935, but after World War II Lyons changed the company name to Jaguar to avoid the unfortunate connotations of SS Cars Ltd. with the Nazi 'SS'.


1909 The first Boy Scout rally was held at Crystal Palace, near London.


1932 The birth of Dinsdale Landen, British actor known mainly for his television appearances. He made his television debut in 1959 as Pip in an adaptation of Great Expectations and his film debut in 1960, with a part in The League of Gentlemen.


1939 World War II: The British liner Athenia was sunk by a German submarine off Ireland.


1939 World War II: A Bristol Blenheim bomber became the first British aircraft to cross the German coast following the declaration of war. German ships were bombed but the aircraft stood little chance against the German Messerschmitt Bf 109 during daylight operations, although it proved successful as a night fighter.


1944 In World War II, the Allies liberated Brussels and Antwerp (Belgium).


1955 British TV newsreaders were seen in vision for the first time. The first was the BBC's Kenneth Kendall.


1962 The Beatles started their first recording session at EMI's Abbey Road Studios, London, with their producer, George Martin.


1964 Queen Elizabeth II opened the Forth Road Bridge across the Firth of Forth in Scotland.


1981 The start of the Greenham Common peace protest outside the US Air Force base in Berkshire.The protest lasted for 19 years.


1985 The wreck of the Titanic was photographed for the first time, 73 years after it sank with the loss of 1,500 lives.


1988 British customs officers intercepted a helicopter landing on its way in from Holland. It was the first helicopter known to have been used in an attempt to smuggle drugs into Britain.