This Day in History - 5th January
1066The death of Edward the Confessor, usually considered the last king of the House of Wessex. He was called ‘the Confessor’ because of his great piety. He died childless, sparking a succession crisis that led to the Norman Conquest.
1531Pope Clemens VII forbade English King Henry VIII to re-marry. The event led to the creation of the Church of England.
1900Irish leader John Redmond called for a revolt against British rule. He attained the twin dominant objectives of his political life i.e. party unity and (in September 1914) achieving Irish Home Rule under an Act which granted an interim form of self-government to Ireland. Unfortunately for Redmond, implementation of the Act was suspended by the intervention of World War I, and it was ultimately made untenable after the Conscription Crisis of 1918.
1906Kathleen Kenyon, British archaeologist, was born. She used radio carbon dating to date the remains of Jericho.
1922Sir Ernest Shackleton, British Antarctic explorer, died of a heart attack off South Georgia. At his wife's request he was buried there. It was his fourth expedition, aimed at circumnavigating the Antarctic in what he described as the one remaining object of Antarctic journeying; the crossing of the continent from sea to sea, via the pole.
1938The BBC began broadcasting Bandwagon, its first radio comedy series, with Arthur Askey and Richard ‘Stinker’ Murdoch.
1941Amy Johnson, record-breaking English aviator, died whilst flying an aircraft from Blackpool to Kidlington (Oxfordshire) in foggy conditions as her role in the Air Transport Auxiliary that ferried new, repaired and damaged military aircraft between UK departments.
1960The last journey of the Mumbles Railway, the oldest in the world. It was set up in 1804 as a goods railway running from Swansea to Mumbles Head, Wales, and began carrying passengers in 1807. The railway still holds the record for the highest number of forms of traction of any railway in the world - horse-drawn, sail power, steam power, electric power, petrol and diesel.
1971One-day cricket was born when 46,000 turned up to watch England play Australia at Melbourne. The test match had been rained off for several days previously. Australia won by 5 wickets (with 42 balls remaining)
1981Peter Sutcliffe, a 35-year-old lorry driver from Bradford, suspected of carrying out 13 murders across West Yorkshire over a period of five years, was formally charged in court.
1993The oil tanker 'Braer' was wrecked in hurricane force winds off the Shetland Islands, discharging large amounts of crude oil.
2001A report funded by The Department of Health found that the convicted serial killer, former GP Harold Shipman, may have killed in excess of 300 of his patients.
2013The death in Wirksworth - Derbyshire, of Britain's oldest man, Reg Dean aged 110 years and 63 days. He was a former church minister and lived through two world wars and 24 British prime ministers.