On This Day - 23rd December
1688 As part of the Glorious Revolution to overthrow King James II of England (James VII of Scotland), the KIng fled to Paris 'On This Day' after being deposed in favour of his nephew, William of Orange and his daughter Mary.
1732 The birth, in Preston, Lancashire, of Sir Richard Arkwright, the youngest of 16 children. A self-made man, he was a leading entrepreneur of the Industrial Revolution and the cotton spinning industry. He was the creator of the modern factory system, especially in his mill at Cromford, Derbyshire (see picture) which also had the world's first water-powered mill.
1812 Samuel Smiles, social reformer and author was born, in Haddington, East Lothian. He contributed to the Edinburgh Weekly Chronicle and the Leeds Times where he was editor for 4 years. He was author of the book Self Help (1859). It sold over 250,000 copies and was followed by other self-improvement books such as Thrift (1875). The books were the tools of Victorian virtues.
1834 English architect Joseph Hansom, who designed the Town Hall at Lutterworth, Leicestershire (see picture) patented the horse drawn taxi, known as the Hansom Cab. He went on to sell the patent to a company for £10,000 but the sum was never paid. The first Hansom Cab travelled down Hinckley's Coventry Road in 1835. They were exported worldwide and became a feature of the 19th-century street scene.
1888 The birth, in Hull, of the film magnate J. Arthur Rank. He was founder of the Rank Organisation, now known as The Rank Group Plc.
1937 The first flight of the Vickers Wellington, a British twin-engine, long range medium bomber designed at Brooklands in Weybridge, Surrey. It was widely used as a night bomber in the early years of the Second World War, before being displaced as a bomber by the larger four-engine "heavies" such as the Avro Lancaster.
1956 The United Nations Emergency Force took over in Egypt after British and French forces withdrew from Port Said and Port Fuad, thus ending the Suez Crisis.
1964 The government announced that Dr. Richard Beeching, who instigated major
and controversial changes to the rail network, was to quit his post.
1970 The Mousetrap reached its 7511th consecutive performance to break the world record for the longest running play.
1987 The first ‘Scrooge’ award by the Low Pay Unit was made to a Wiltshire stable-owner who paid a qualified groom only £28 a week. The runner-up was a doctor employing a telephonist for 30p an hour. The prize was a copy of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
1992 The BBC investigated a leak which led to the Queen's Christmas speech being published in the Sun newspaper, ahead of its broadcast on the BBC. The leak led to a clampdown on the future advance availability of the speech to the world's press.
2011 The Duke of Edinburgh was taken to Papworth hospital in Cambridgeshire after complaining of chest pains, and was treated for a blocked coronary artery. The procedure was declared a success but he was kept in for four nights so that doctors could keep a check on his recovery.
2013 Former MP Denis MacShane was jailed for six months for expenses fraud after admitting submitting 19 fake receipts amounting to £12,900. MacShane said 'cheers' as the sentence was delivered, before adding, 'quelle surprise' as he was led from the dock. He became the fifth MP to get a prison sentence after the 2009 expenses scandal.
2013 Grandfather John McCafferty (71) entered the record books as the world's longest-surviving heart transplant patient at 30 years, 11 months and 11 days. At the time of his heart transplant in 1982 he was told that he might expect to live for another five years if the procedure was a success.
2014 The death, aged 84, of Jeremy Lloyd who created comedy sitcoms including 'Are You Being Served?' and 'Allo 'Allo!
2014 The death of 51 year old mulitple sclerosis patient Debbie Purdy. Ms. Purdy won a landmark ruling in the House of Lords in 2009 which resulted in guidelines on assisted suicide being published by the Government.
2014 Ashley Stansfield, 48, a prisoner released on licence, was sentenced to spend Christmas in jail after he was punished for taking a job which started at 6.15 in the morning, 45 minutes before his night-time curfew expired.