On this day: Referendum in Hawick

On this day in 1996 residents in Hawick voted 4-1 to continue excluding women from taking part in town's Common Riding. Picture: Ian Rutherford
On this day in 1996 residents in Hawick voted 4-1 to continue excluding women from taking part in town's Common Riding. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 4 December

1154: Nicholas Breakspear became the only English Pope as Adrian IV.

1586: Queen Elizabeth I confirmed death sentence against Mary Queen of Scots.

1829: Suttee, the Hindu custom of a wife being burnt with her dead husband, became illegal in India, but continues in areas like Rajasthan to the present day.

1859: The colony of Queensland was established.

1935: Monopoly was born.

1937: The Dandy comic was first published by DC Thomson in Dundee, featuring Desperate Dan, the brainchild of Dudley Watkins.

1952: A freak weather change saw London enveloped by a layer of smog. After five days, the death toll came to more than 4,000, and thousands more died later from related illnesses.

1961: The birth control pill became available on the National Health Service.

1978: HMS Ark Royal, the navy’s largest ship, arrived at Plymouth on her last voyage before being broken up.

1990: Aga Khan withdrew all his race horses from Britain in protest against dope detection methods which had disqualified his filly Aliysa from winning previous year’s Oaks.

1991: Terry Anderson, the longest-serving Western hostage in Lebanon, was set free in Beirut after seven years.

1996: A referendum in Hawick voted by 4-1 in favour of women continuing to be excluded from the town’s traditionally men-only common riding.

2007: An inquiry into the deaths of 14 servicemen in a Nimrod MR2 from Kinloss, which exploded in midair in Afghanistan, found that it was caused by a fuel leak after air-to-air refuelling and blamed the Ministry of Defence and the RAF for failing to ensure that the aircraft was safe.

2008: Karen Matthews, the mother of nine-year-old Shannon, was convicted of her kidnap. The trial in Leeds heard that Matthews and co-accused Michael Donovan kept Shannon “drugged, subdued and hidden from the public” so they could claim £50,000 in reward money.

2011: Two giant pandas began settling into their new home at Edinburgh Zoo after a nine-hour flight from China. They were on loan to the zoo for ten years.


Scott Hastings, Scottish rugby player, 50; Ronnie Corbett CBE, Scottish actor and comedian, 84; Joan Brady, novelist, 75; Jeff Bridges, actor, 65; Anke Huber, tennis player, 40; Jay-Z (Shawn Carter), hip hop artist, 45; Yvonne Minton CBE, mezzo-soprano, 76; Eileen O’Brien, actress, 69; Pamela Stephenson, therapist and actress, 65; Roberta Bondar, astronaut, 69; Gary Rossington, musician, (Lynyrd Skynyrd), 63; Paul McGrath, 55; Tyra Banks, model, talk show host, actress, producer, 41; Chris Shepherd, TV/film writer and director, 47; Terry Woods, musician (The Pogues, Steeleye Span), 67; Chris Hillman, musician (The Byrds), 70; Marisa Tomei, actress, 50.


Births: 1795 Thomas Carlyle, Ecclefechan-born historian and writer; 1865 Edith Cavell, nurse and patriot; 1866 Wassily Kandinsky, artist; 1892 General Franco, Spanish dictator; 1913 Claude Renoir, cinematographer; 1920 Michael Bates, actor.

Deaths: 1214 William I of Scotland; 1334 Pope John XXII; 1585 John Willock, Scottish reformer; 1609 Alexander Hume, Scottish poet; 1649 William Drummond of Hawthornden, poet and scholar; 1845 Gregor MacGregor, Scottish soldier, coloniser and swindler; 1993 Frank Zappa, musician.