On this day in British History: January 1st

Charles II Presented with a Pineapple - c.1675-80

Charles II Presented with a Pineapple – c.1675-80


Along with more updates, features and news for Anglophile lovers this year, enjoy a daily summary of what major events happened on this day in British History. Especially early history as that’s somehow much more engaging. Hope everyone had a great New Years Eve – here’s to a terrific 2015!


1651 Charles II (pic above) was crowned King of Scotland at Scone, a village in Perth and Kinross.

1660 Samuel Pepys began writing the Diary which he kept for nine years, writing in an early form of shorthand.

1766 The death in Rome of ‘the Old Pretender’, James Stuart, father of Bonnie Prince Charlie. He is buried in the crypt of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.

1772 The London Credit Exchange Company issued the first traveller’s cheques, accepted in 90 cities and guaranteed against theft.

1773 The hymn that became known as “Amazing Grace”, was first used to accompany a sermon, led by John Newton in the town of Olney, Buckinghamshire.

1781 The first all-iron bridge in the world, Iron Bridge in Shropshire, was opened to traffic. The bridge was built by Abraham Darby III, from a design by Thomas Farnolls Pritchard.

1785 John Walter published the first issue of the Daily Universal Register. In 1788 it was renamed The Times.

1812 The Bishop of Durham, Shute Barrington, ordered troops from Durham Castle to break up a miners’ strike in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, at collieries owned by the Dean & Chapter of Durham Cathedral.

1833 Britain claimed sovereignty of the Falkland Islands.

1876 Bass Ale’s ‘Red Triangle’ became the first registered trade mark in Britain.

1877 The British Prime Minister, Disraeli, had Queen Victoria proclaimed Empress of India.

1894 The opening of the Manchester Ship Canal linking Manchester to the River Mersey. Queen Victoria later formally opened the canal, on 21st May 1894.

1951 The first episode of the BBC’s radio serial The Archers – farming folk of Ambridge. It is the world’s longest running radio ‘soap’. By 11th December 2014 it had reached 17,534 episodes.

1962 The Beatles had an audition for Decca Records, who turned them down and signed Brian Poole and the Tremeloes instead.

Blimey! is your daily dose of British news and features for anglophiles everywhere! This article was carefully written by Tim Holt, a British blogger, photographer and actor based in the USA. Forever torn between two magnificent slices of sod.

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