On this day: Queen Mary imprisoned in Lochleven Castle | Elgin Cathedral burned

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Events, birthdays and anniversaries from 17 June

National day of Iceland.

1390: Elgin Cathedral burned by Wolf of Badenoch, Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan, son of Robert II.

1567: Queen Mary was imprisoned in Lochleven Castle by the Council of Scotland.

1579: Sir Francis Drake proclaimed England’s sovereignty over New Albion (now California).

1775: The Battle of Bunker Hill took place, with victory for the British under General Howe over American troops at the start of the War of Independence.

1823: Charles Macintosh, Glasgow-born chemist, patented waterproof cloth.

1843: Maori uprising against the British began in New Zealand.

1860: The 692ft liner Great Eastern, designed by Brunel and Russell, began her first transatlantic voyage.

1867: Joseph Lister performed the first operation under aseptic conditions, on his sister Isabella, at Glasgow Infirmary.

1940: The British troopship Lancastria, carrying 4,000 troops, was sunk by enemy bombing off St Nazaire. About 2,500 died.

1944: Iceland became an independent republic.

1947: The first round-the-world airline service was opened by Pan-American Airways.

1950: The first kidney transplant was performed, at Little Company of Mary Hospital, Chicago, by Doctor Richard Lawler.

1969: Boris Spassky became world chess champion, beating Tigran Petrosian.

1970: Decimal postage stamps (10p, 20p, 50p) went on sale.

1982: Italian banker Roberto Calvi, known as “God’s banker” due to his close ties with the Vatican, was found hanging under Blackfriars Bridge in London.

1991: Iraq freed British engineer Douglas Brand, jailed for life for spying, after appeal by Edward Heath.

1991: In South Africa, the repeal of the Population Registration Act of 1950 officially ended apartheid.

1993: United Nations ground troops, backed by United States air power, launched dawn raid on the Mogadishu headquarters of General Mohammed Farrah Aidid, inflicting many casualties but failing to capture the warlord.

1994: American football star OJ Simpson, facing charges of murdering his former wife and her boyfriend, surrendered to police after a motorway pursuit filmed live on television.

1995: Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams pulled his party out of peace talks with the government and hinted at a resumption of IRA violence in Northern Ireland.

2008: Communities Secretary Hazel Blears had her laptop stolen, which contained restricted files on extremism and defence.


Ken Loach, television and film director, 77; James Corden, actor and comedian, 35; Sir Gerald Gordon KBE, Sheriff of Glasgow and Strathkelvin 1978-99, 84; Derek Ibbotson MBE, athlete, 81; Ken Livingstone, mayor of London 2000-8, MP 1987-2001, 68; Alistair McHarg, Scottish rugby player, 68; Barry Manilow, singer and songwriter, 67; Iain Milne, Scottish rugby player, 54.


Births: 1239 King Edward I; 1895 Very Rev Lord MacLeod of Fuinary, founder Iona Community; 1911 James Cameron, journalist; 1917 Dean Martin, singer and film actor; 1920 Beryl Reid, actress and comedienne.

Deaths: 1957 Dorothy Richardson, novelist; 1997 Emilio Coia, cartoonist; 1999 Cardinal Basil Hume, Archbishop of Westminster; 2001 Cardinal Thomas Winning, Archbishop of Glasgow.