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Click here for the short ‘On This Day’ pieces that appear in the Daily Telegraph.

Click here for longer features that appear in a range of publications – mainly the Daily Telegraph, but also the Spectator, Prospect Magazine, the Catholic Herald, etc.

Click here for an index to the Feature articles.




‘On This Day’


[597 BC] On this day in 597 BC: King Nebuchadnezzar II sacks Jerusalem and exiles the Jews (16 March)

[551 BC] On this day in 551 BC: Confucius, creator of the Chinese approach to living, is born (28 September)

[354 BC] On this day: an ancient Athenian performer invents the theatre as we know it (23 November)

[241 BC] On this day in 241 BC: The Battle of Aegates brings Roman victory in the First Punic War (10 March)

[218 BC] On this day in 218 BC: Hannibal and his elephants outwitted the Romans in a humiliating defeat (18 December)

[83 BC] On this day in 83 BC: the birth of Mark Antony, who served Caesar, loved Cleopatra, and shattered Rome (14 January)

[49 BC] On this day in 49 BC: Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon (10 January)

[19 BC] On this day in 19 BC: Virgil, epic poet of the Aeneid, dies (21 September)

[0] On this day we honour the birth of Jesus. But it wasn’t December 25, it wasn’t in Bethlehem, and that was not his name (25 December)

[9] On this day: Roman emperor Vespasian, inventor of pay-per-use public toilets, is born (17 November)

[41] On this day in AD 41: Emperor Caligula, the incestuous madman, is assassinated by his Praetorian Guard (24 January)

[51] On this day in AD 51: the brutal, vainglorious Roman emperor Domitian is born (24 October)

[68] On this day in AD 68: The death of the tyrannical Emperor  (9 June)

[80] On this day in AD 80: Titus, scourge of Jerusalem and rebuilder of Rome, dies (13 September)

[250] On This Day in AD 250: The first empire-wide persecution of Christians claims the life of the Pope (20 January)

[313] On this day in 313 AD: Constantine liberates the Christians with the Edict of Milan (13 June)

[395] On this day in AD 395: The Roman Empire is forever cloven in two (17 January)

[455] On this day in AD 455: the beginning of the end for Rome (2 June)

MEDIEVAL (476 to 1485)

[476] On this day in 476 AD: the final blow is struck, and the Roman Empire ends in the west (4 September)

[516] 1,500 years ago – King Arthur’s epic battle (30 December)

[529] On this day 529 AD: The Code of Justinian, precursor to Europe’s great secular civil codes, is published (7 April)

[532] On this day in AD 532: The Nika riots sweep across Constantinople (11 January)

[624] On this day in AD 624: Victory for Muhammad at the Battle of Badr signals the arrival of Islam as a major force in the Arabian Peninsula (13 March)

[632] On this day in AD 632: Yazdegerd III ascends the throne of the Sassanian Empire (16 June)

[632] On this day in 683 AD: The Kaaba, the holiest site in Islam, is burned to the ground (31 October)

[655] On this day: Britain’s last great pagan king is struck down by Christians at the Battle of the Winwaed (15 November)

[661] On this day in 661 the new religion of Islam split in two – when Caliph Ali is murdered with a poisoned sword (28 January)

[679] On this day in 679: Æthelthryth, Anglo-Saxon princess and saint, dies at Ely (23 June)

[747] On this day in AD 747: The Umayyad Caliphate, which ruled from Cordoba to Baghdad, is overthrown (29 January)

[778] On this day in 778AD: Charlemagne suffers his only major defeat at the Battle of Roncesvalles, inspiring the epic Song of Roland (16 August)

[868] On this day in AD 868: The Diamond Sutra, the oldest printed text in the world, goes to press (11 May)

[918] On this day in 918: the death of Æthelflæd, the powerful queen who united England (12 June)

[991] On this day in 991 AD: One of the most famous battles of English history is fought at Maldon (10 August)

[1002] On this day in 1002: King Æthelred orders the St Brice’s Day Massacre of all Danes living in England (13 November)

[1012] On this day in 1012: Ælfheah, Anglo-Saxon Archbishop of Canterbury, is murdered at a drunken feast (19 April)

[1016] On this day in 1016: Canute the Great – Viking king of England, Denmark and Norway – is crowned in London (6 January)

[1040] On this day in 1040: The real Macbeth hacks Duncan down in battle and takes the throne of Scotland (14 August)

[1066] On this day in 1066: Harald Hardrada, the last Viking to invade England, joins forces with the traitor, Tostig Godwinson (18 September)

[1076] On this day in 1076: Waltheof’s secret execution prompts scandal and speculation (31 May)

[1095] On this day: Pope Urban II launches the First Crusade, sparking flames which still burn today (18 November)

[1102]On this day in 1102: Empress Matilda – fearsome fighter, wife and mother – was born (7 February)

[1120] On this day in 1120: The Knights Templar order of warrior monks is formed (16 January)

[1152] On this day in 1152: Eleanor of Aquitaine marries Henry II (18 May)

[1154] On this day: one of medieval England’s greatest rulers, King Henry II, was crowned (19 December)

[1155] On this day in 1155: Henry the Young King, who was crowned but never reigned, is born (28 February)

[1159] On this day in 1159: the death of Adrian IV, the only Englishman ever to become Pope (so far) (1 September)

[1170] On this day in 1170: Thomas Becket is murdered in Canterbury Cathedral, and becomes a martyr (29 December)

[1177] On this day: Crusader forces under the leper king Baldwin IV crush Saladin at Montgisard (25 November)

[1198] On this day in 1198: the Islamic philosopher Averroës dies in Marrakech (10 December)

[1199] On this day in 1199: brave Richard the Lionheart dies (6 April)

[1204] On this day in 1204: The glory of Byzantium is forever extinguished in the Sack of Constantinople (12 April)

[1215] On this day: priests were banned from trying people by fire – paving the way for modern juries (11 November)

[1215] On this day in 1215: Magna Carta is sealed (15 June)

[1216] On this day in 1216: the Dominican Order is approved by the Pope (22 December)

[1225] On this day in 1225: Arnaud Amaury, warrior monk and scourge of Cathars and Moors alike, dies (29 September)

[1250] On this day in 1250: the violent death of William II Longespée, one of England’s more unfortunate crusaders (8 February)

[1256] On this day in 1256: the Mongol horde crushes the legendary Assassins (15 December)

[1260] On this day in 1260: Kublai Khan, future conqueror of China, is proclaimed Mongol emperor (5 May)

[1273] On this day in 1273: Rumi, the great poet and founder of the Whirling Dervishes, dies (17 December)

[1274] On this day in 1274: After kidnap, fire irons, prostitutes, and timeless philosophy, Thomas Aquinas dies (7 March)

[1294] On this day in 1294: the election of Pope Boniface VIII begins a bloody feud which will upend medieval politics (24 December)

[1302] On this day in 1302: Dante Alighieri goes into exile, prompting a melancholy that ends in him writing the Divine Comedy (27 January)

[1316] On this day in 1316: Ramon Llull, pioneering philosopher and father of literary Catalan, dies (29 June)

[1329] On this day in 1329: Robert the Bruce dies after a fearsome campaign to liberate Scotland from English rule (7 June)

[1355] On this day in 1355: University fracas ends with 93 dead and the birth of a 600-year-long tradition (10 February)

[1324] On this day in 1324: Marco Polo, the great Venetian traveller, dies (9 January)

[1337] On this day in 1337: the illustrious Duchy of Cornwall is born (17 March)

[1368] On this day in 1368: Charles VI the mad king is born into a world which will mock and scorn him to his grave (3 December)

[1389] On this day in 1389: Pope John XXII condemns the mystical contemplations of Meister Eckhart as heretical (27 March)

[1400] On this day in 1400: The deposed Richard II conveniently dies, leaving Henry IV unchallenged

[1404] On this day in 1404: William of Wykeham, the self-made man who reshaped English education and bestrode government, dies aged 80 (27 September)

[1408] On this day: the order which gave Count Dracula his name was founded (12 December)

[1413] On this day: Philip IV, one of Europe’s greatest villains, finally gets what he deserves (29 November)

[1415] On this day in 1415: Those few, those happy few, that band of brothers rout the French at Agincourt (25 October(

[1461] On this day in 1461: The Battle of Towton, one of bloodiest on English soil, ends in victory and coronation for Edward IV (29 March)

[1468] On this day in 1468: Gutenberg, inventor of the revolutionary printing press, dies (3 February)

[1469] On this day in 1469: Niccolò Machiavelli, author of The Prince, is born (3 May)

[1484] On this day in 1484: the College of Arms, font of heraldry, is founded (2 March)

[1485] On this day in 1485: England’s future is forever changed when the House of Plantagenet is ended at the Battle of Bosworth Field (22 August)

[1485] On this day: two deluded inquisitors lit the first flames of Europe’s tragic witchcraft hysteria (5 december)

TUDORS AND STUARTS (1485 to 1714)

[1492] On this day in 1492: The end of Moorish Spain and Islamic rule in mainland Europe (2 January)

[1493] On this day in 1493: A papal bull divides the world in two between Spain and Portugal (4 May)

[1497] On this day in 1497: Cornwall’s valiant rebels are hanged, drawn and quartered by the King (27 June)

[1506] On this day in 1506: the Swiss Guard became a permanent corps to protect the Pope (22 January)

[1512] On this day in 1512: Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling leaves the public speechless (1 November)

[1515] On this day in 1515: Anne of Cleves, the ‘Flanders mare’ and the last to die of Henry VIII’s wives, is born (22 September)

[1534] On this day in 1534: Elizabeth Barton, traditionalist prophet, is executed for attacking Henry VIII’s divorce )20 April)

[1536] On this day in 1556: Thomas Cranmer, author of Henry VIII’s divorces, Archbishop of Canterbury, and leading Protestant, is burnt at the stake (21 March)

[1542] On this day in 1542: Henry VIII’s 18-year-old wife, Katherine Howard, is beheaded (13 February)

[1542] On this day: Mary Stuart becomes Queen of Scots at six days old (14 December)

[1552] On this day in 1552: Sir Edward Coke – champion of the Common Law, Parliament, and representative government – was born (! February)

[1554] On this day in 1554: unwilling pretender to the Tudor throne Lady Jane Grey was beheaded, aged 16 (12 February)

[1556] On this day in 1556: David Riccio, rumoured father of James I, is brutally murdered in Scotland (9 March)

[1560] On this day in 1560: History’s most prolific female serial killer, ‘Countess Dracula’ is born (7 August)

[1593] On this day in 1593: Thomas Kyd, roommate of soon-to-be-murdered Christopher Marlowe, is arrested (12 May)

[1582] On this day in 1582: Pope Gregory XIII announces the new Gregorian calendar (24 february)

[1584] On this day in 1584: Ivan the Terrible, bloody and violent tyrant, and oppressor of Russians meets his death (28 March)

[1600] On this day in 1600: Giordano Bruno is burnt alive for his science, 42 years before Galileo (17 February)

[1600] On this day in 1600: The East India Company begins its 274 mission to dominate India (31 December)

[1603] On this day in 1603: James VI of Scotland begins his turbulent reign as King of England (24 March)

[1606] On this day in 1606: Guy Fawkes, treasonous plotter, is executed in Westminster (31 January)

[1612] On this day in 1612: The Pendle witch trials (18 August)

[1616] On this day in 1616: Nicholas Culpeper, rebel doctor and apothecary to the people, is born (18 October)

[1620] On this day in 1620: The Mayflower sets sail from Plymouth, carrying the Pilgrim Fathers to the New World (6 September)

[1628] On this day in 1628: Charles I’s close friend, and sworn enemy of Parliament, George Villiers is murdered (23 August)

[1633] On this day in 1633: The Inquisition sentences Galileo to life imprisonment for heresy (22 June)

[1637] On this day in 1637: The once famous, now long-forgotten hermetic philosopher Robert Fludd dies  (8 September)

[1645] On this day in 1645: The Battle of Naseby, the turning point in the English Civil War (14 June)

[1648] On this day: Pride’s Purge of Parliament paves the way for the trial of Charles I (6 december)

[1662] On this day in 1662: The Great Ejection sees puritanism purged from public life (24 August)

[1687] On this day on 1687: A direct hit by a Venetian mortar blows up the Parthenon (26 September)

[1688] On this day in 1688: James II goes into exile, leaving Parliament supreme (23 December)

[1692] On this day in 1692: The Salem witch trials begin with a wave of hysteria (1 March)

[1692] On this day in 1662: Punch and Judy, soon to be integral to British life, arrive on English shores (9 <ay)

[1701] On this day in 1701: Pirate of the Caribbean, William ‘Captain’ Kidd, meets his end at Execution Dock (23 May)

[1703] On this day in 1703: the 47 Rōnin avenge their master’s death in a legendary tale of samurai honour (4 February)

[1703] On this day in 1703: the 47 Rōnin avenge their master’s death in a legendary tale of samurai honour (4 February) 

[1703] On this day in 1703: the real-life Man in the Iron Mask dies in the Bastille – taking his identity to the grave (19 November)

[1706] On this day in 1706: John Baskerville, whose eponymous typeface transformed printing, is born (28 January)

[1713] On this day in 1713: the Treaty of Utrecht is signed, ceding Gibraltar to Britain (11 April)


[1715] On this day in 1715: the death of Dom Perignon, master winemaker and Benedictine monk (14 September)

[1718] On this day: Blackbeard’s last stand (22 November)

[1727] On this day in 1727: Sir Isaac Newton, scientific genius and ‘last of the magicians’, dies (20 March)

[1730[ On this day in 1730: Robert Walpole, consummate wheeler-dealer, becomes Britain’s first prime minister (15 May)

[1731] On this day in 1731: Daniel Defoe, powerful propagandist and father of the English novel, dies (24 April)

[1739] On this day in 1739: Highwayman Dick Turpin is identified by an old teacher, his path to the noose guaranteed (23 February)

[1742] On this day in 1742: The glorious tones of Händel’s Messiah are heard for the first time in public (13 April)

[1743] On this day in 1743: The birth of Jean-Paul Marat, the French revolutionary killed in his bath (24 May)

[1757] On this day in 1757: Admiral John Byng, scapegoated for the loss of Minorca to the French, is executed by firing squad aboard HMS Monarch (14 March)

[1775] On this day: Jane Austen was born (16 December)

[1776] On this day in 1776: The Illuminati, the modern day conspiracy theorist’s favourite bogeyman, is founded in Bavaria (1 May)

[1761] On this day in 1761: Madame Tussaud, waxworker to kings and French Revolutionaries, is born (1 December)

[1782] On this day in 1782: One of the darkest moments in US history sees 96 Native American Delawares massacred (8 March)

[1788] On this day in 1788: The First Fleet reaches Australia and founds a nation (18 January)

[1789] On this day in 1789: Mutiny! The disagreeable Captain Bligh is cut adrift from HMS Bounty (28 April)

[1792] On this day in 1792: La Marseillaise, revolutionary anthem of the French, is composed in just 24 hours (25 April)

[1793] On this day in 1793: Marie-Antoinette, Queen of France, is guillotined before the mob on Place de la Revolution (16 October)

[1793] On this day in 1793: France unleashes the Terror against enemies of the Revolution (5 September)

[1794] On this day in 1794: The first festival of Revolutionary France’s Cult of the Supreme Being (8 June)

[1797] On this day in 1797: A French invasion of Wales ends in wine-addled surrender (22 February)

[1797] On this day in 1797: Mary Shelley, groundbreaking author of Frankenstein, is born (30 August)

[1804] On this day: Napoleon crowned himself emperor in Notre Dame (2 December)

[1814] On this day in 1814: the birth of Sheridan le Fanu, neglected prince of Victorian ghost stories (28 August)

[1814] On this day 1814: A torrent of ale sweeps through London in the Great Beer Flood  (17 October)

[1832] On this day in 1832: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, celebrated statesman, scholar and author of Faust, dies (22 March)

[1819] On this day in 1819: To supplant the Dutch, Britain founds a new Malacca Strait base – Singapore (6 February)

[1847] On this day in 1847: Samuel Colt finalises the design for his legendary Colt Walker handgun (4 January)

[1849] On this Day in 1849: Katsushika Hokusai – Japan’s artistic master and painter of The Wave – dies (10 May)

[1853] On this day in 1853: Vincent van Gogh, the epitome of the tortured artist, is born (30 march)

[1854] On this day: Pope Pius IX issues the first infallible pronouncement of the modern era (* December)

[1859] On this day in 1859: America’s largest ever sale of slaves reaches its tragic end (3 March)

[1859] On this day in 1859: The birth of Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle (22 May)

[1869] On this day in 1869: Rasputin was (probably) born (21 January)

[1872] On this day in 1872: the Mary Celeste was found adrift in the Atlantic, inexplicably deserted (4 December)

[1873] On this day in 1863: Jacob Grimm, who with his brother returned folktales to the centre of culture, dies (2- September)

[1868] On this day in 1868: Japan overthrows its last shogun and enters the modern era full steam ahead (3 January)

[1879] On this day in 1879: The Battle of Rorke’s Drift, immortalised in the film Zulu, is fought (23 January)

[1881] On this day in 1881: Fyodor Dostoyevsky – profound novelist, philosopher and scholar of tortured psyches – dies (9 February)

[1881] On this day in 1881: James Garfield dies three months after he is shot, becoming the second US president to be assasinated (19 September)

[1885] On this day in 1885: General Charles Gordon dies with his men in the bloody Siege of Khartoum (26 January)

[1888] On this day in 1888: Jack the Ripper claims his first victim in the world’s most infamous unsolved murder spree (31 August)

[1889] On this day in 1889: Paris’ dramatic icon, the Eiffel Tower, opens (31 March)

[1890] On this day in 1890: Heinrich Schliemann, the pioneering archaeologist who claimed to have found Troy, dies (26 December)

[1893] On this day in 1893: Hermann Goering, Adolf Hitler’s right hand man, is born (12 January)

[1895] On this day in 1895: the catalysis for Oscar Wilde’s demise is triggered  (3 April)

[1897] On this day in 1897: Dennis Wheatley, the master of the occult thriller and WWII deception artist who faded from national icon to obscurity, is born (8 January)

[1897] On this day in 1897: Dracula is published (26 May)

1900 to 1945

[1900] On this day in 1900: Archaeologists find the key to a 3,000-year-old lost Greek civilisation (5 April)

[1900] On this day in 1900: Friedrich Nietzsche dies  (25 August)

[1901] On this day in 1901: Marlene Dietrich – megastar, bisexual seductress and scourge of Nazi Germany – is born (27 December)

[1904] On this day in 1904: the ‘wickedest man in Britain’ completes his manuscript for a new religion (10 April)

[1904] On this day: a Briton invented the electronic component that powers all modern music (16 November)

[1909] On this day in 1909: Joan of Arc, French heroine in the Hundred Years War and national icon, is beatified (18 April)

[1911] On this day in 1911: modern master of guitar music and early influencer of rock and roll is born (8 May)

[1911] On this day in 1911: The theft that made the Mona Lisa the most famous painting on earth (21 August)

[1911] On this day in 1911: the ‘Queen of Gospel’ and civil rights activist, Mahalia Jackson, is born (26 October)

[1912] On this day in 1912: The birth of Kim Philby, who betrayed his friends and colleagues to the Soviet Union (1 January)

[1914] On this day in 1914: Archduke Franz Ferdinand is assassinated in Sarajevo (28 June)

[1914] On this day in 1914: Dylan Thomas, Wales’s wildest poet, is born (27 October)

[1915] On this day in 1915: German zeppelins begin the first ever bombing raid on Britain (19 January)

[1916] On this day in 1916: the savage slaughter of the Battle of Verdun begin (21 February)

[1917] On this day: the Bolsheviks seize power in the Russian October Revolution (7 November)

[1917] On this day: Edmund Allenby captures Jerusalem, ending 730 years of Muslim rule (9 December)

[1917] On this day: the Soviet Union founds the CHEKA, their dreaded secret police force (20 December)

[1918] On this day in 1918: Fearless British flying ace Douglas Leigh-Pemberton cheated death and triumphed in the skies  (5 February)

[1918] On this day in 1918: Legendary WWI ace the Red Baron is killed by a shot to the heart (21 April)

[1919] On this day in 1919: The Nazi Party is founded by Anton Drexler (while Adolf Hitler is sent to spy on it) (5 January)

[1919] On this day in 1919: Marxist firebrand Rosa Luxemberg is shot for leading a failed German revolution (15 January)

[1919] On this day in 1919: Benito Mussolini, vanguard of Europe’s far-right, founds his fascist party (23 March)

[1919] On this day in 1919: The German Fleet is scuttled at Scapa Flow (21 June)

[1921] On this day in 1921: Violette Szabo, secret agent who parachuted into occupied France, is born (26 June)

[1922] On this day: Howard Carter unlocks the tomb of Tutankhamun (4 November)

[1923] On this day: Adolf Hitler makes his first grab for power in the Beer Hall Putsch (9 November)

[1929] On this day in 1929: The Wall Street Crash begins, wiping billions off stock markets  (23 October)

[1933] On this day in 1933: Congress strikes the first blow in the fight to kill Prohibition (20 February)

[1833] On this day in 1933: a fire at the Reichstag lets Adolf Hitler seize absolute power (27 February)

[1934] On this day in 1934: Hitler ruthlessly purges his close friend in the Night of the Long Knives (30 June)

[1934] On this day in 1934: The world’s most infamous prison welcomes its first inmates (11 August)

[1934] On this day in 1934: Charles Manson, the murderous cult leader who would bring a violent end to the decade of love, is born (12 November)

[1935] On this day in 1935: The death of Lawrence of Arabia (19 May)

[1935] On this day in 1935: The Nuremberg racial laws were passed (15 September)

[1937] On this day in 1937: German bombs rain down on the Spanish town of Guernica (26 April)

[1939] On this day: the German warship Graf Spee meets its end in the Battle of the River Plate (13 December)

[1940] On this day in 1940: The Royal Navy makes its last ever boarding action during the Altmark Incident (16 February)

[1940] On this day in 1940: The 15,000-year-old cave paintings of Lascaux are discovered by Robot the dog (12 September)

[1941] On this day in 1941: The Japanese Navy attacks Pearl Harbor, bringing the USA into the Second World War (7 December)

[1941] On this day in 1941: Two allied agents parachute into Czechoslovakia to kill an architect of the Final Solution (28 December)

[1942] On this day in 1942: 1,000 RAF bombers obliterate Cologne in a major escalation of the air war (30 May)

[1942] On this day in 1942: A 16-year-old British sailor salvaged the Enigma codebook from a sinking U-Boat (30 October)

[1942] On this day: Germany invades Vichy France (10 November)

[1942] On this day in 1942 : legendary guitarist and 1960s icon, Jimi Hendrix, was born (27 November)

[1943] On this day in 1943: The brutal Battle of Stalingrad convulsed to a dramatic close (2 February)

[1943] On this day in 1943: The audacious and masterful Dambusters raid strikes the Nazi industrial heartland (17 May)

1945 to PRESENT

[1945] On this day in 1945: The US detonated an atomic bomb over the Japanese city of Nagasaki (9 August)

[1945] On this day in 1945: The Nuremberg trials of 24 surviving senior Nazis begin (20 November)

[1949] On this day in 1949: The growing Soviet threat in Europe leads 12 Western nations to form Nato (4 April)

[1950] On this day in 1950: British troops join the hellish war that would split Korea in two (29 August)

[1953] On this day in 1953: Django Reinhardt, Europe’s greatest jazz musician, dies tragically young (16 May)

[1953] On this day in 1953: The execution of Soviet spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg (19 June)

[1953] On this day: Piltdown Man (21 November)

[1960] On this day in 1960: The Lady Chatterley’s Lover trial ends and Britain is deluged by smut (2 November)

[1961] On this day in 1961: beloved British entertainer, George Formby, dies (6 March)

[1962] On this day in 1962: The execution of Adolf Eichmann, Holocaust organiser (1 June)

[1963] On this day in 1963: sex, spies and shootings force John Profumo to resign from government (5 June)

[1963] On this day in 1963: Bruce Reynolds and company make off with millions in the Great Train Robbery (8 August)

[1963] On this day: Lee Harvey Oswald’s murder was broadcast live on TV (24 November)

[1966] On this day in 1966: The death of Georges Lemaître, inventor of the Big Bang Theory (20 June)

[1968] On this day in 1968: Johnny Cash performs at Folsom Prison and cements his legend (13 January)

[1968] On this day in 1968: Robert F Kennedy is assassinated, five years after his brother  (6 June)

[1971] On this day in 1971: Decimal Day heralds the end of the “bob” and “tanner” (15 February)

[1972] On this day: Paris’ notorious guillotine claims its final victim (28 November)

[1976] On this day in 1976: the Sex Pistols make their swaggering, aggressive debut with ‘Anarchy in the UK’ (26 November)

[1977] On this day in 1977: The premiere of the world’s greatest space opera, Star Wars (25 May)

[1977] On this day in 1977: The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presley, dies at 42 (17 August]

[1977] On this day in 1977: the southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd plummet to Earth in badly-maintained plane (20 October)

[1978] On this day in 1978: Georgi Markov, Bulgarian dissident, is assassinated with an umbrella on Waterloo Bridge (7 September)

[1979] On This Day: Ayatollah Khomeini seizes control in the Iranian Revolution (11 February)

[1980] On this day in 1980: Led Zeppelin’s legendary drummer, John Bonham, dies after 40 shots of vodka (25 September)

[1982] On this day in 1982: General Belgrano is sunk by HMS Conqueror, killing 323 Argentine sailors (2 May)

[1984] On this day in 1984: The Libyan embassy siege, triggered by the murder of Yvonne Fletcher, ends (27 April)

[1987] On this day in 1987: Rudolf Hess, once Hitler’s right hand man and sole inmate in Spandau prison, dies (17 August)

[1988] On this day: A bomb brings PanAm Flight 103 down over Lockerbie, killing 270 people (21 December)

[1990] On this day: The world decided to stop Saddam Hussein’s forces marauding around Kuwait )29 November)

[1995] On this day: Operation Desert Storm ends (30 November)

[1997] On this day in 1997: Eddie Chapman, notorious Second World War double agent, dies (11 December)

[1999] On this day in 1999: The Lewinsky scandal, which shocked America, culminates in the impeachment hearings of President Bill Clinton (7 January)

[2001] On this day in 2001: Islamist terrorists topple the World Trade Centre and change the world forever (11 September)

[2005] On this day in 2005: Saddam Hussein goes on trial for crimes against humanity (19 October)


On this day: A most violent date throughout history claims the life of many a leader (30 January)



carneybibles-2eva2 caesar3 lemmy guy-fawkes-2 english-catholicism-2115 gallipoli magna-carta-trial queen pointless-laws no-right-to-marbles turin-shroud catholic-england-today richard-iii-wrong-body radical-voting richard-iii-baddresden cromwell cathedrals ada elgin-any-time elgin-due guy-fawkes amal-collney hastingsnoor-inayat-khan columbus flavius moses hattin magna-carta-nonsense garbo richard-york protestant-spin witch-craze lionheart





Index to Articles

The longer (free) articles appear first, then the shorter (paid for, Telegraph Premium) ones appear after.

Free Feature Articles

Ada Lovelace paved the way for Alan Turing’s more celebrated codebreaking a century before he was born

A gutsy British Second World War hero—a woman, and a Muslim, Have you ever heard of her? (Noor Inayat Khan)Amal Clooney should back off. Lord Elgin was a hero who saved the marbles for the world

A stain on history: the burning of Jacques de Molay, Grand Master of the mysterious Knights Templar, 700 years ago today

As the Euro elections loom, let’s remember the coronation of our last Anglo-Saxon king

Cathedrals are bursting with colour again

Columbus, greed, slavery, and genocide: what really happened to the American Indians

Cruel, anti-English and almost certainly gay: meet the real Richard the Lionheart

Dresden was a civilian town with no military significance: why did we burn its people?

Duel: Should we return the Elgin Marbles?

Forget the Da Vinci Code: this is the real mystery of the Knights Templar

Forget the Guy Fawkes propaganda – the English Reformation was a violent disaster

Greece knows it has no legal right to the Elgin Marbles: that’s why it won’t sue the UK

Guy Fawkes. Islamists, converts, and terrorism: some things never change

How a Protestant spin machine hid the truth about the English Reformation

How bad a guy was Richard III?

How German is the Queen?

How Protestantism fuelled Europe’s deadly witch craze

If the Turin Shroud is the work of a medieval artist, it’s one of the greatest artworks ever created

In praise of charming but pointless laws—like the Magna Carta

King Alfred was a Roman Catholic. Let’s bury him in Westminster Cathedral

King Richard III: These bones may not be his – but if they are they deserve a Catholic burial in York

Lemmy was a national treasure – a unique collection of swing and amphetamines

Magna Carta trial: The barons’ treason must be exposed

New Year’s Day is too soon after Christmas. Let’s move it back to its proper place—in March

Richard III: we’re burying the wrong body

The 1860s may have been a lost decade, but the 1870s were revolutionary – we can do it again

The bloody underside of the ‘civilized’ Renaissance

The cult of Magna Carta is historical nonsense: no wonder Oliver Cromwell called it ‘Magna Farta’

The dark, deep roots of Britain’s fascination with witchcraft

The Great Tudor Bible myth

The Greeks can have the Elgin Marbles any time they like – if they play by the rules

The Ides of March. The assassination of Julius Caesar and how it changed the world

The man who invented poison gas: a horror story

The spy who saved D-Day (Agent Garbo)

The true story of the Battle of Hastings, today in 1066

The Vikings were no worse than the Anglo-Saxons. Let’s celebrate this rich immigrant culture

This day 2496 years ago. Western civilisation began at Salamis

This is the man who turned Christianity into a global religion. Do you even know his name?

Thomas Cromwell was the Islamic State of his day

Three radical ways to get Britain voting again

Today is the anniversary of the fall of Moorish Spain. Was it really such a wonderful place?

Howard Carter unlocks the tomb of Tutankhamun | On This Day

Two millennia after the sack of Jerusalem, what does history tell us about violence in the Middle East?

We must mark failures like Gallipoli alongside our successes

What Catholic England would look like today

What does the Rosetta Stone tell us about the Bible? Did Moses read hieroglyphs?

What English Catholicism will look like in 2115

What the Crusades tell us about shifting borders in the Middle East

Why the so-called ‘Dark Ages’ were just as civilized as the savage Roman Empire