On This Day - 5th July
1295Scotland and France formed an alliance, the so-called 'Auld Alliance', against their common enemy - England.
1610John Guy, English merchant adventurer and politician, set sail from Bristol with 39 other colonists, bound for Newfoundland. He became the first Proprietary Governor of Newfoundland and led the first attempt to establish a colony on the island.
1687Isaac Newton who was born at Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire (see picture of Newton's birthplace) published his 'Principia', stating Newton's laws of motion, Newton's law of gravitation, and a derivation of Kepler's laws of the motion of the planets. The Principia is regarded as one of the most important works in the history of science.
1817The first gold coin sovereigns were issued in Britain.
1841Thomas Cook, a Baptist cabinet maker, founded the first travel agency. The first official 'Cook's Tour' involved almost 600 teetotallers taking the train from Leicester to Loughborough to attend a temperance meeting. This statue of Thomas Cook (see picture) is outside Leicester Railway Station, on London Road.
1853The birth of Cecil John Rhodes, English colonialist and financier. Rhodes was noted for his commercial exploitation of southern Africa, where he gained control of the world’s major diamond and gold mines. He took part in the notorious Jameson Raid, an attempt to overthrown the Boers in the gold-rich Transvaal, and the incident led to his resignation as Prime Minister. He expanded further north and formed the country of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), which was named after him.
1865The Locomotives and Highways Act in Britain introduced a speed limit for road vehicles of 4 mph in rural areas and 2 mph in urban areas.
1888Three match girls were fired at the Bryant and May match factory in London for giving information about working conditions. The other 672 employees went on strike, a landmark for women workers in Britain that led to the formation of a Matchgirls' Union.
1945Churchill lost the General Election after leading Britain throughout World War II. Attlee’s Labour Party won 393 seats to the Tories’ 213.
1948Britain's National Health Service came into operation when Aneurin Bevan, the health secretary, launched the NHS at Park Hospital in Davyhulme (today known as Trafford General Hospital). It was the climax of a hugely ambitious plan to bring good healthcare to all. See picture of his statue in Cardiff. Doctors immediately announced the setting-up of a fighting fund to oppose the legislation, fearing a loss of earnings.
1948 The birth of Aneira Reece at Amman Valley Hospital in Carmarthenshire. She was the first baby born to be born under the National Health Service, just after the clocks chimed midnight. She was named Aneira, after the founding father of the NHS, Aneurin Bevan.
1954The BBC broadcast its first daily television news programme.
1969The Rolling Stones gave a free concert in Hyde Park, London, two days after the death of guitarist Brian Jones. It was attended by 250,000 people.
1979The Queen presided over the 1000th annual open-air sitting of the Isle of Man's Parliament, Tynwald.
1991The Bank of England closed down UK branches of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International over allegations of fraud.
1997The birth of Dolly, possibly the world's most famous sheep. She was cloned by scientists in Edinburgh in what was hailed as one of the most significant breakthroughs of the decade. The cell used as the donor for the cloning was taken from a mammary gland, so she was named after Dolly Parton! (see picture of Dolly and her many friends and relatives.)
2012The Shard, Europe's tallest building to date and 'a gleaming feat of glass and gravity-defying engineering', was officially unveiled in London. It stands at 309.6 metres tall, cost £1.5bn and was 12 years in the making.
2012Police apologised after a terror alert closed the M6 Toll for more than four hours. Armed officers, troops, firefighters and bomb disposal experts responded after a coach passenger saw smoke coming from another passenger's bag. Police later confirmed that the device was an electronic cigarette which gives off a visible vapour.
2014 The Tour de France cycle race made its first visit to the north of England. Day 1 started in Leeds and took in the town of Skipton, (see the race leaders as they passed through Skipton and Skipton's spectator hub. The day's stage continued through the Yorkshire Dales National Park and Ripon, before ending the day in Harrogate.