On this day: Mary Queen of Scots marriage

Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs arrives back in Britain from Brazil in 2001 after spending more than 30 years on the run
Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs arrives back in Britain from Brazil in 2001 after spending more than 30 years on the run
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Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 7 May

7 May

1544: Earl of Hertford invaded Scotland in an attempt to force the Scottish estates to agree to the marriage of Edward, son of Henry VIII, and Mary Queen of Scots. Known as “The Rough Wooing”, it resulted in the burning and destruction of Border towns and abbeys and of Edinburgh.

1765: The warship Victory was launched at Chatham. She is now preserved at Portsmouth.

1791: First British veterinary surgeon, William Moorcroft, set up practice after qualifying in France.

1824: Beethoven conducted the first performance of his choral symphony, his ninth and last.

1888: George Eastman patented his Kodak box camera with a name he thought would be easy to remember.

1907: The first Isle of Man TT Race was held.

1915: The 762ft Cunard passenger liner, Lusitania, was torpedoed by a German submarine ten miles off Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland with the loss of 1,198 lives.

1918: HH Asquith announced the intention to introduce an old age pension – five shillings (25p) a week for every person over 70, or seven shillings and sixpence for married couples.

1926: Women’s suffrage in Britain was lowered to the age of 21.

1945: Germany surrendered unconditionally to the Allies.

1954: Dien Bien Phu was lost by French forces to Viet Minh.

1971: United States removed all controls on use of dollars in transactions with China.

1973: The Washington Post won the Pulitzer Prize for the work of its reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in exposing the Watergate scandal.

1991: An estimated one million people in refugee camps in eastern Ethiopia faced starvation as emergency food supplies from the West began to run out.

1995: Right-wing Gaullist Jacques Chirac was elected president of France, ending 14 years of socialist rule.

2000: Vladimir Putin was inaugurated president of Russia.

2001: The Great Train Robber, Ronnie Biggs, arrived back in Britain from Brazil, ending more than 35 years on the run.

2008: Cannabis was reclassified as a class B drug, reversing then prime minister Tony Blair’s 2004 decision to downgrade it to class C, because of uncertainty over its impact on mental health


Christy Moore, Irish folk singer, 68; Lord (Asa) Briggs, British historian, 92; Peter Carey, Australian author, 70; Eagle-Eye Cherry, singer, 44; Anne Dudley, British pop musician (Art of Noise) and orchestral composer, 57; Anya Hindmarch MBE, handbag designer, 45; Nicholas Hytner, British film, theatre and opera director, 57; Kate Lawler, English reality television personality, 33; Traci Lords, actress, 45; Breckin Meyer, actor, 39; Sir Tony O’Reilly KBE, Irish rugby player and newspaper owner, 77; Richard O’Sullivan, British actor, 69; Jimmy Ruffin, American singer, 75.


Births: 1711 David Hume, philosopher and historian; 1812 Robert Browning, poet; 1833 Johannes Brahms, composer and pianist; 1840 Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Russian composer; 1892 Marshal Tito, Yugoslavia’s founding president; 1901 Gary Cooper, film actor; 1914 Scobie Breasley, jockey; 1919 Eva Peron, Argentinian president’s wife.

Deaths: 1890 James Nasmyth, inventor of the first steam hammer; 1917 Captain Albert Ball, air ace of First World War; 1957 Eliot Ness, US government agent; 2011 Severiano Ballesteros, Spanish golfer.