On This Day - 15th November
655 The death (at the Battle of the Winwaed) of Penda, 7th-century King of Mercia, one of the most powerful kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England. Mercia originally comprised the border areas of modern Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, the northern West Midlands and Warwickshire.
1577 English explorer and navigator Sir Francis Drake began his voyage to sail around the world.
1688 The Glorious Revolution began when William of Orange landed at Brixham to overthrow King James II of England (James VII of Scotland and James II of Ireland).
1708 William Pitt the Elder, 1st Earl of Chatham and British Prime Minister, was born. The Burton Pynsent monument (see picture). at Curry Rivel, Somerset was designed by Capability Brown and erected by Pitt as a monument to Sir William Pynsent. Pysent left his entire estate to Pitt in gratitude for Pitt opposing a ten shilling tax on a hogshead of cider which would have affected Pysent's business.
1897 The birth of Aneurin Bevan, often known as Nye Bevan, Welsh Labour Party politician who was the Minister for Health in the post-war Attlee government. He spearheaded the establishment of the National Health Service, to provide medical care free at point-of-need to all Britons. See picture of his statue in Cardiff.
1899 Winston Churchill was captured by the Boers while covering the war as a reporter for the Morning Post. He escaped a few weeks later.
1922 Children's Hour was first broadcast on the radio. It established a tradition of drama and story-telling and built up a devoted audience of over three million at its peak.
1928 The RNLI Lifeboat Mary Stanford capsized in Rye Harbour with the loss of the entire 17 man crew, practically the whole male fishing population of the small town of Rye.
1932 The birth of Petula Clark, singer, actress, and composer which a career spanning seven decades.
1942 World War II: The first flight of the German Heinkel He 219 took place. Had it been available in quantity, it might have had a significant effect upon the strategic night bombing offensive of the Royal Air Force. Only 294 of all models were built by the end of the war and they saw only limited service.
1968 The liner Queen Elizabeth completed her final passenger voyage when she landed at Southampton. She was sold to a US group who planned to moor her in Florida as a tourist attraction. She was replaced by the new liner the QE2.
1969 ATV (Midland) screened the first colour TV commercial in Britain; for Birds Eye Peas. It cost £23 for the off peak 30 second slot.
1977 The birth of Peter Phillips, son of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips.
1985 Britain and the Republic of Ireland signed a deal giving Dublin a role in Northern Ireland for the first time in more than 60 years. Unionists accused Mrs. Thatcher of treachery.
1991 In the wake of increased sectarian violence in Northern Ireland, Britain called up 1,400 reserve troops for full-time active duty.
1994 The launch of Britain's first Internet newspaper, The Electronic Telegraph.
1998 Britain and America called back their fighter planes after Iraq agreed to allow UN weapons inspectors back into the country.
2002 Moors murderer Myra Hindley, the woman who came to personify evil , died in prison, aged 60.
2014 Pensioner Kelvin Sibthorpe got his hopes up when he discovered he'd been the victim of pension mis-selling, which meant he could be entitled to a 'windfall'. The windfall entitled him to only an extra 18p a month in pension payments. It would consist of seven years of back payments, coming to a grand total of £10.08.