On this day in British History: January 5th

Henry VIII by Holbein

Henry VIII by Holbein

1066 The death of Edward the Confessor, the last Anglo-Saxon king of England. He was called ‘the Confessor’ because of his great piety. He died childless, sparking a succession crisis that led to the Norman Conquest

1531 Pope Clemens VII forbade English King Henry VIII to re-marry. The event led to the creation of the Church of England.

1900 Irish 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.

1906 Kathleen Kenyon, British archaeologist, was born. She used radio carbon dating to date the remains of Jericho.

1922 Sir 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.

1938 The BBC began broadcasting Bandwagon, its first radio comedy series, with Arthur Askey and Richard ‘Stinker’ Murdoch.

1941 Amy 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. Her plane was found, 100 miles off course, in the muddy water of the Thames, but her body was never recovered. Reportedly out of fuel she had been seen alive in the water, but a rescue attempt failed and the incident also led to the death of her would-be rescuer, Lt. Cmdr. Walter Fletcher. Amy Johnson was one of the world’s great aviators. She was the first woman to fly solo from Britain to Australia in 1930 and she also set numerous long-distance records during the 1930s.

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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