Historic July

by Ben Johnson

Among many other events, July saw the Second Anglo-Dutch War (pictured above) end with the peace of Breda. The Dutch acknowledge the loss of Delaware and New Jersey, New Amsterdam is renamed New York.

1 July. 1838 British scientist Charles Darwin presented a paper to the Linnean Society in London, on his theory of the evolution of species and natural selection.
2 July. 1644 Parliamentarian forces defeated Prince Rupert at the Battle of Marston Moor, their first victory over the Royalists in the English Civil War.
3 July. 1996 It was confirmed that the Stone of Scone, the symbol of the Scottish nation taken by Edward I of England in 1296, was to be returned to Scotland from Westminster Abbey where it has been used in the coronation of 30 British monarchs.
4 July. 1776 Congress accepted the Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson, formally ending American links with Britain.
5 July. 1791 George Hammond was appointed the first British Ambassador to the USA.
6 July. 1535 Former favourite of King Henry VIII Sir Thomas More was executed after refusing to recognise the King as the head of the Church.
7 July. 1307 English King Edward I, conqueror of Wales and “Hammer of the Scots” dies on the way to Scotland to fight Robert the Bruce.
8 July. 1822 Leading romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley drowned in the Bay of Spezia, when his boat sunk in a storm.
9 July. 1877 The inaugural Lawn Tennis Championship was played on top of the croquet lawns at Wimbledon, Spencer W Gore taking the men’s singles title.
10 July. 138 Death of the Roman Emperor Hadrian who ordered the building of a wall across northern England to keep out the barbarian Scottish tribes.
11 July. 1690 Deposed Roman Catholic King of England James II was defeated by the current king, William III or William of Orange, at the river Boyne, Ireland.
12 July. 1910 British pilot Charles Stewart Rolls, 33, died after his French built biplane crashed at a flying competition in Bournemouth, Dorset. He was a partner in the Rolls-Royce car manufacturing company.
13 July. 1923 The British parliament passes a law banning the sale of alcohol to under-18’s.
14 July. 1858 Birthday of Emmeline Pankhurst, English suffragette who suffered imprisonment in order to gain the vote for women.
15 July. 1857 200 British men, women and children are chopped up by local butchers and thrown down a well at Cawnpore, as the Indian Mutiny continues.
16 July. 1557 Death, from natural causes, of Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of Henry VIII.
17 July. 1453 French troops defeat the English at Castillon, effectively ending the Hundred Years’ War. Calais remains under English control.
18 July. 1920 750,000 war dead are commemorated with the unveiling of a new national monument in Whitehall, London. The Cenotaph takes its name from the Greek words kenos and taphos meaning empty tomb.
19 July. 1545 King Henry VIII looks on as his newly refitted flagship the Mary Rose sinks in the Solent, off England’s south coast, with the loss of 700 lives.
20 July. 1588 The Spanish Armada consisting of 130 warships set sail for England from Corunna, a day later than expected due to a storm.
21 July. 1969 The Eagle lands on the moon and US astronaut Neil Armstrong is the first man in history to walk on its powdery surface.
22 July. 1946 More than a year after the end of World War Two, bread is rationed in Britain. The shortage is blamed upon a poor harvest and drought.
23 July. 1940 The Local Defence Volunteers changes its name to the Home Guard. The one million-strong force, which includes many World War One veterans, is intended to form Britain’s last line of defence against the expected German invasion.
24 July. 1567 Mary Queen of Scots abdicates after defeat by the Protestants at Carberry Hill, near Musselburgh, East Lothian.
25 July. 1814 The chief engineer at the Killingworth colliery, George Stevenson, unveils Blutcher, a steam powered locomotive that can haul eight carriages loaded with 30 tons of coal at the break-neck speed of 4 mph.
26 July. 1978 The worlds first test-tube baby is born in Oldham General Hospital near Manchester. Gynecologist Patrick Steptoe and physiologist Dr Robert Edwards are credited with this pioneering work.
27 July. 1953 The Korean War is formally ended with the signing of a peace agreement at Panmunjom. The three year conflict has consumed an estimated five million lives.
28 July. 1540 A busy day for King Henry VIII as he has Thomas Cromwell beheaded and then goes on to marry Catherine Howard.
29 July. 1588 The Spanish Amada is sighted off the coast of Cornwall. The English fleet under the command of Charles Howard and Francis Drake set sail from Plymouth, to establish the birth of British naval supremacy.
30 July. 1966 England win the Jules Rimet trophy, Association Football’s World Cup, at Wembley Stadium in London after beating Germany 4-2 in extra time.
31 July. 1667 The Second Anglo-Dutch War ends with the peace of Breda. The Dutch acknowledge the loss of Delaware and New Jersey, New Amsterdam is renamed New York.

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