This Day in History - 8th August
1296The Stone of Scone, on which Scottish kings had been crowned for centuries, was seized by King Edward I of England.
1503King James IV of Scotland married Margaret Tudor, daughter of King Henry VII of England at Holyrood Abbey in Edinburgh.
1585John Davis, one of the chief English navigators and explorers under Elizabeth I, entered Cumberland Sound, Canada, in search of the Northwest Passage. Davis explorations included the Arctic, the Far East and the discovery of the Falkland Islands in 1592.
1588In a nine-hour battle off Gravelines, the English fleet engaged with the Spaniards in their last naval confrontation. The defeat of the Armada saved England from invasion and the action has enduring historical significance as the first major naval gun battle under sail.
1647At the Battle of Dungans Hill in County Meath, English Parliamentary forces defeated Irish forces. The battle was very bloody, with over 3000 deaths, and had important political repercussions. It contributed to the collapse of the Confederate cause and the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland in 1649.
1834The Poor Law Amendment Act was passed in Britain. The Act dropped the system whereby parishes cared for their poor by a rate of poor relief and replaced it with the workhouse.
1918World War I -The start of the Battle of Amiens - Allied troops advanced against 20 German divisions and took 16,000 prisoners within 2 hours.
1940The German Luftwaffe began a series of daylight air raids on Britain and so began The Battle of Britain which would continue into the following October.
1953Nigel Mansell, English racing driver was born. He won both the Formula One World Championship in 1992 and the American CART Indy Car World Series in 1993 making him the only person to hold both titles simultaneously. Until October 2014 Mansell remained the most successful British Formula One driver of all time in terms of race wins, with 31 victories. On 12th October 2014 his victories were equalled by (and have now been surpassed by) Lewis Hamilton.
1958In Britain, Columbia Records signed a 17 year old singer called Cliff Richard.
1963The Great Train Robbery, in which over £2.5 million was stolen, took place near Bletchley, Buckinghamshire. The day of the train robbery also happened to be the 34th birthday of Ronnie Biggs, one of the robbers.
1991John McCarthy, Britain's longest-held hostage in Lebanon, was freed after more than five years in captivity. He had been held hostage since April 17, 1986 - a total of 1,943 days.
1996The death in Columbia - Maryland, of Sir Frank Whittle, aviation engineer and pilot who invented the jet engine.
1997British newspapers romantically linked Diana, Princess of Wales with Dodi Al Fayed - the son of Mohammed Al Fayed, the owner of the London store Harrods.
2002The UK's biggest undertakers Co-op funeral services, reported that bereaved families preferred pop songs to hymns at funerals. Unusual choices requested included 'Another One Bites The Dust' by Queen and 'Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go' by Wham!