On this day: Robert Maxwell’s sons cleared of conspiracy to defraud

Robert Maxwell's sons Kevin (left) and Ian were cleared at the Old Bailey of conspiring to defraud pension funds. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
Robert Maxwell's sons Kevin (left) and Ian were cleared at the Old Bailey of conspiring to defraud pension funds. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
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EVENTS, birthdays, anniversaries

1547: Henry Howard, the Earl of Surrey, was executed in the Tower of London as a traitor.

1649: Trial of England’s King Charles I began.

1795: French forces overran Holland.

1812: British forces under Sir Arthur Wellesley, later Duke of Wellington, took Ciudad Rodrigo in Spain.

1859: France and Sardinia signed treaty of alliance.

1903: New bicycle race announced – to be called the Tour de France.

1915: First casualties sustained in an air raid on Britain, when bombs were dropped on Great Yarmouth in Norfolk by the German L3 Zeppelin.

1915: The neon tubes sign was patented by George Claude.

1917: Sixty-nine died when the Venesta munitions works in Silvertown, Essex, which had been manufacturing explosives for Britain’s First World War effort, blew up in an explosion that was heard in Wiltshire.

1938: General Francisco Franco’s Nationalist air force bombed Spanish cities of Barcelona and Valencia, killing 700.

1966: Indira Gandhi became prime minister of India, following in the footsteps of her father, Jawaharlal Nehru.

1975: Britain and Irish Republican Army announced first direct negotiations since eruption of terrorist activity in Northern Ireland five years earlier.

1977: Snow fell in Florida – the only such occurrence in history.

1978: The last Volkswagen Beetle made in Germany left the VW plant in Emden.

1990: Sir Anthony Meyer, Conservative MP, was deselected by his constituency party after standing for leadership against Margaret Thatcher.

1991: Iraqi Scud missiles injured at least 17 people in Tel Aviv. United States urged Israel to show restraint. Baghdad expelled 30 journalists.

1996: There was criticism of the Serious Fraud Squad after Robert Maxwell’s sons Kevin and Ian were cleared at the Old Bailey of conspiring to defraud pension funds in their father’s media empire after he drowned.

2004: An inflatable boat carrying illegal Albanian emigrants stalled near the Karaburun Peninsula while on the way to Brindisi, Italy; exposure to the elements killed 28.

2009: The share price of Royal Bank of Scotland plunged 66 per cent as the once proud institution fell further into the mire. The bank lost its position as Scotland’s biggest company.

2009: Former chancellor Ken Clarke expressed “delight” at rejoining the Conservative Party’s front bench team, as shadow business secretary.

2013: Lance Armstrong admitted to doping in all seven of his Tour de France victories.


Births: 1736 James Watt, Greenock engineer and inventor; 1757 Thomas Ruddiman, grammarian, schoolmaster, Jacobite, librarian of Advocates’ Library; 1807 General Robert E Lee, American Civil War Confederate commander-in-chief; 1809 Edgar Allan Poe, writer of macabre stories and poems; 1813 Sir Henry Bessemer, inventor of blast furnace method of converting cast iron into steel; 1839 Paul Cézanne, French artist and pioneer of the Impressionist movement; 1909 John Pudney, poet; 1921 Patricia Highsmith, American crime writer; 1925 Nina Bawden CBE, British novelist; 1929 John Murray, 11th Duke of Atholl; 1939 Phil Everly, American rock singer; 1943 Janis Joplin, rock singer; 1949 Robert Palmer, rock singer.

Deaths: 1729 William Congreve, playwright; 1905 George Boughton, painter; 1990 Semprini, pianist; 1998 Carl Perkins, rock singer and guitarist; 2000 Hedy Lamarr, American film actress; 2010 Bill McLaren CBE, rugby commentator; 2014 Sir Christopher Chataway, British Olympic athlete and MP 1959-66 and 1969-74; 2015 Anne Kirkbride, British actress (Coronation Street).