Historic June

by Ben Johnson

Among many other events, June saw the Marylebone Cricket Club and Hertfordshire play the first match at England’s Lord’s Cricket Ground.

1 June. 1946 Television licences were issued in Britain for the first time; they cost £2.
2 June. 1953 On a cold and wet day in London, the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place in Westminster Abbey.
3 June. 1162 Thomas Becket was consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury.
4 June. 1039 Gruffydd ap Llewellyn (pictured above), Welsh King of Gwynedd and Powys, defeated an English attack.
5 June. 755 English missionary Boniface, ‘the Apostle of Germany’, is murdered in Germany by unbelievers, along with 53 of his companions.
6 June. 1944 D-Day invasion of Normandy by 1 million Allied troops to liberate Western Europe from German occupation.
7 June. 1329 Scotland mourns the death of King Robert I. Better known as Robert de Bruce, he earned a place in Scottish history for his legendary victory over the English at Bannockburn in 1314.
8 June. 1042 Harthacnut, King of England and Denmark, died drunk; he was succeeded in England by his adopted heir, Edward the Confessor, and in Denmark by Magnus, King of Norway.
9 June. 1870 The nation’s best loved author Charles Dickens died of a stroke at his home in Gad’s Hill Place, Kent. His sudden death is being blamed upon his punishing work schedule, including tours of England and the USA.
10 June. 1829 The Oxford team won the first-ever Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race. Two eight-men crews raced each other along the River Thames in a contest of rowing power nicknamed simply “The Boat Race”.
11 June. 1509 In a private ceremony at the Palace of Placentia, Greenwich, the 18 year old English King Henry VIII married his former sister-in-law Catherine of Aragon, his first wife.
12 June. 1667 The Dutch fleet under Admiral de Ruyter burned Sheerness, sailed up the River Medway, raided Chatham dockyard, and escaped with the royal barge, the Royal Charles.
13 June. 1944 The first V1 flying bomb, or “doodle bug” was dropped on London.
14 June. 1645 In the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell defeated the Royalists at the Battle of Naseby, Northamptonshire.
15 June. 1215 King John and his barons met on the banks of the River Thames at Runnymede and sign the Magna Carta, thus removing total authority from the monarchy forever.
16 June. 1779 Spain declared war on Britain (after France had offered to assist in the recovery of Gibraltar and Florida), and the siege of Gibraltar began.
17 June. 1579 Francis Drake drops anchor off the south-west coast of America and proclaims England’s sovereignty over New Albion (California).
18 June. 1815 British and Prussian forces led by the Duke of Wellington and Gebhard von Blücher defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, in Belgium.
19 June. 1917 In the midst of World War 1 the British royal family renounced German names (Saxe-Coburg-Gotha) and titles, and adopted the name of Windsor.
20 June. 1756 In India, over 140 British subjects were imprisoned in a cell measuring only 5.4m by 4.2m (‘The Black Hole of Calcutta‘); only 23 came out alive.
21 June. 1675 Construction work starts on Sir Christopher Wren’s St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.
22 June. 1814 The Marylebone Cricket Club and Hertfordshire play the first ever cricket match at England’s Lord’s Cricket Ground.
23 June. 1683 William Penn, the English Quaker, signed a treaty with chiefs of the Lenni Lenape Tribe in an attempt to ensure peace in his new American colony.
24 June. 1277 English King Edward I began his first campaign against the Welsh following Llewelyn ap Gruffydd ap Llewelyn’s refusal to pay him homage.
25 June. 1797 Admiral Horatio Nelson is wounded in the arm in a battle with the French and the limb is amputated. This follows the loss of his sight in his right eye some three years earlier.
26 June. 1483 Richard, Duke of Gloucester, began to rule England as Richard III, having deposed his nephew, Edward V. Edward and his brother, Richard, Duke of York, were imprisoned in the Tower of London and later murdered.
27 June. 1944 After 21 days of bloody fighting through the Normandy countryside, Allied forces took Cherbourg.
28 June. 1838 Since early morning crowds had gathered along the route through London that Queen Victoria would take for her coronation in Westminster Abbey.
29 June. 1613 London’s Globe Theatre was destroyed by flames as a cannon is fired to announce the king’s entrance in Shakespeare‘s Henry V.
30 June. 1894 Tower Bridge in London was officially opened by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales. After the ceremony the bascules were raised to allow a flotilla of ships and boats to sail down the Thames.

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