On this day: Tom Thumb married

Tom Thumb, of Barnum's circus fame, married his wife Lavinia on this day in 1863. They both stood less than 3ft in height. Picture: Getty
Tom Thumb, of Barnum's circus fame, married his wife Lavinia on this day in 1863. They both stood less than 3ft in height. Picture: Getty
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Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 10 February

1306: Stabbing of the Red Comyn by Robert the Bruce in Greyfriars’ Church, Dumfries.

1355: St Scholastica’s Day riots in Oxford lasted for three days after six university men were slain in pub quarrel.

1495: A bull from Pope Alexander VI confirmed the foundation of the University of Aberdeen.

1495: Sir William Stanley, King Henry VII’s Lord Chamberlain, was executed.

1763: France ceded Canada to Britain as Treaty of Paris was signed, ending French and Indian War.

1794: The 4th Duke of Gordon was authorised to raise the Gordon Highlanders.

1811: Russians took Belgrade and captured Turkish army.

1828: Simon Bolivar, South American revolutionary, became ruler of Colombia.

1840: Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were married in the Chapel Royal of St James’s Palace. Both were aged 20.

1841: Union of Upper and Lower Canada proclaimed.

1846: British forces under Hugh Gough defeated Sikhs at Sobrahan, India.

1863: Tom Thumb, of Barnum’s circus, married. He was 2ft 11in and his bride Lavinia was three inches shorter.

1913: A relief party found the bodies of Captain Scott and two companions in a snow-covered tent in the Antarctic wastes. Scott’s last words in his diary were: “We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker, and the end cannot be far. For God’s sake, look after our people.”

1944: Pay As You Earn income tax was introduced.

1955: MPs voted by a majority of 31 to keep the death penalty.

1964: A magistrate declared the book Fanny Hill by John Cleland obscene, and ordered the confiscation of all copies.

1969: US, Britain and France rejected restrictions on travel to West Berlin, and reminded Soviets of their responsibility to ensure free access.

1972: Rockall was formally incorporated into Scotland. The uninhabited rock, about 290 miles out in the Atlantic, had been annexed by a boarding party from HMS Vidal in 1955.

1989: Pregnant and sick people warned not to eat soft cheese due to the danger of listeria bacteria.

1990: Talks between West German chancellor Helmut Kohl and Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev in Moscow suggested Kremlin would not block rapid German reunification.


Mark Spitz, American Olympic swimming champion, 64; Michael Apted, film director, 73; Stephen Carter CBE, former Downing Street chief of staff 2008, 51; Laura Dern, actress, 47; Roberta Flack, rock singer, 77; Keeley Hawes, actress, 38; Greg Norman, Australian golfer, 59; Nick Owen, television journalist, 67; Peter Purves, actor and presenter, 75; Dame Gail Rebuck, publisher, chairman and chief executive of Random House UK, 62; Alan Rothwell, director and actor, 77; Billy Thomson, footballer, 57; Robert Wagner, film actor and producer, 84; Holly Willoughby, TV presenter, 33.


Births: 1894 Harold Macmillan, first Earl of Stockton, prime minister 1957-63; 1910 Joyce Grenfell, actress, comedienne and broadcaster; 1940 Hamish Imlach, folk singer.

Deaths: 1567 Henry, Lord Darnley, second husband of Mary, Queen of Scots; 1868 Sir David Brewster, physicist and inventor of the kaleidoscope (died in Melrose); 2002 Professor John Erickson, director of Defence Studies, Edinburgh University 1988-96.