Britain's Flags

On This Day - 1st December

1135 England's King Henry I died. He had fallen ill seven days earlier after eating too many lampreys (jawless fish resembling eels). He was 66, and had ruled for 35 years.


1581 Edmund Campion (later St. Edmund) and three other Jesuits were martyred. He was tried on a charge of treason for promoting Catholicism and was hanged in London.


1642 The 1st English Civil War : A victory for Parliamentarian Forces when Colonel Sir William Waller stormed Farnham Castle in Kent. It became his base for the remainder of the war.


1761 Birth of Madame Marie Tussaud (Grosholz), Swiss-born French waxworks modeller. During the French Revolution she made death masks from the severed heads of the famous. In 1800, separated from her husband, she toured Britain with her waxworks, eventually setting up a permanent exhibition in London.


1821 The birth of the architect Cuthbert Brodrick. Aged 29, Brodrick entered and won a competition for the design of Leeds Town Hall (see ©BB picture), one of the largest town halls in the United Kingdom. He also designed The Grand Hotel in Scarborough (see ©BB picture). At the time of its grand opening in 1867, it was the largest hotel and the largest brick structure in Europe.


1868 The opening of London's Smithfield meat market.


1887 Beeton’s Christmas Annual went on sale, with 'A Study in Scarlet' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which first introduced the detective, Sherlock Holmes.


1895 Henry Williamson, author of the classic book 'Tarka The Otter', was born. See ©BB otter picture.


1930 The birth of the singer Matt Monro, who became one of the most popular entertainers on the international music scene during the 1960s. Throughout his 30 year career, he filled cabarets, nightclubs, music halls and stadiums throughout the world.


1942 The Beveridge Report, written by Sir William Beveridge, proposed a welfare state for Britain, offering care to all from the cradle to the grave. It revolved around a compulsory National Insurance scheme to provide all adults with free medical treatment, unemployment benefit and old age pensions.


1965 The Government put forward a plan to improve the lot of both farmers and consumers by encouraging intensive farming.


1966 Britain issued its first special edition Christmas stamps. In 2006 the stamps were heavily criticized as they depicted no Christian images on any of the Christmas stamps.


1969 A statue of former British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill was unveiled in the House of Commons.


1987 The Department of Trade inspectors were ordered into the giant Guinness company to investigate allegations of misconduct which ended up with four arrests being made, including the chairman Ernest Saunders. Guinness shares plunged by £300m.


1990 Britain and France were joined for the first time in thousands of years as the last wall of rock separating two halves of the Channel Tunnel was removed.


2010 Large parts of the UK were brought to a standstill by the early freeze. Temperatures plunged again overnight to -16C (3F) in the Scottish Highland after one of the coldest starts to December in more than 20 years. Some 4,000 schools were closed, the Forth Road Bridge was closed for the first time since it opened in 1964 and Edinburgh and Gatwick airports were shut. The Met Office issued heavy snow warnings for Scotland and north-east, eastern and south-east England.


2013 Official industry figures showed that some of Britain’s biggest wind farms were, at times, taking electricity out of the National Grid to run basic power supplies on site, rather than actually supplying electricity to households. Renewable power plant capacities from RWE are viewable on a real-time interactive map.


2014 Dr. Myles Bradbury was jailed for 22 years after abusing children who had cancer or grave blood disorders. He pleaded guilty to 25 offences against boys aged 10 to 16, including sexual assault, voyeurism and possessing more than 16,000 indecent images. About 800 more families were told that their children could have been at risk during the five years that Bradbury worked for the hospital.


2014 Christopher Law, the former owner of Britain’s last surviving temperance bar (Fitzpatrick’s, in Rawtenstall, Lancashire - see ©BB picture) was prosecuted for drink-driving.