On this day: William Penn signs peace treaty with native Americans
National day of Luxembourg.
1543: England’s King Henry VIII issued ultimatum to France, serving as declaration of war.
1585: Star Chamber ordered closure of all provincial offices.
1611: Henry Hudson, navigator and searcher for Northwest Passage, was cast adrift in small boat to die, with his son and several others, when his crew mutinied.
1683: William Penn, the Englishman who founded Pennsylvania, signed a peace treaty with the American Indians.
1757: The Battle of Plassey took place in Bengal, with victory for the British, under Robert Clive, over the Indian forces – so laying the foundations of the British Empire in India.
1823: George and Robert Stephenson opened their locomotive foundry in Forth Street, Newcastle upon Tyne.
1894: 286 miners were killed in disaster at the Albion coal pit at Cilfynydd in South Wales.
1902: The award of the Order of Merit was founded by King Edward VII for his Coronation Honours. There can be only 24 holders at any one time.
1910: The Duke of Windsor (Edward VIII) became the Prince of Wales on his 16th birthday.
1912: Niagara Falls bridge collapsed, killing 47.
1914: The Royal Naval Air Service was formed.
1951: British diplomats Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean fled to the Soviet Union.
1970: The world’s first large screw-driven all-metal steamship, Brunel’s 320ft Great Britain, was brought back to Bristol from the Falkland Islands, where she had lain rusting since 1886.
1972: Irish Republican Army’s provisional wing announced conditional ceasefire in Northern Ireland conflict.
1973: The first graduates of the Open University received their degrees at a ceremony in Alexandra Palace.
1988: Chocolate makers Rowntree accepted Nestlé’s £2,550million bid to buy out the company.
1990: Hoverspeed Great Britain, the world’s biggest catamaran, crossed the Atlantic in a record three days, seven hours and 54 minutes to claim the Blue Riband Trophy.
1992: The American Mafia boss John Gotti was jailed for life for a variety of offences.
1994: It was announced that the royal yacht Britannia would be decommissioned in 1997 and possibly not replaced.
1996: The Scottish Claymores beat defending champions Frankfurt Galaxy 32-27 to win the American football World Bowl at Murrayfield.
2006: Sir Sean Connery pulled out of an appearance at the Scottish Parliament after it was revealed that the presiding officer would ask him for his views on violence towards women.
2009: The Irish broadcaster Setanta Sports went into administration after failing to make a number of payments to sporting organisations. About 200 employees involved with the British operations were to be made redundant.