1606: Sir Everard Digby, Robert Wintour, John Grant and Thomas Bates were hung, drawn and quartered for their part in Guy Fawkes’ Gunpowder Plot.
1649: Charles I, convicted of treason, was beheaded on a scaffold outside the Banqueting House in Whitehall.
1858: The Halle Orchestra was founded by Charles Halle in Manchester.
1889: Beautiful 17-year-old Baroness Marie Vetsera and her lover, Austrian Crown Prince Rudolf, were found dead at the royal hunting lodge of Mayerling, near Vienna. It remains a mystery whether it was a double suicide or murder.
1933: Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany.
1948: Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu fanatic in New Delhi.
1961: The contraceptive pill went on sale in Britain – but was not available on the NHS until December.
1965: Big Ben was silenced for the funeral procession of Sir Winston Churchill.
1982: Stanley Holloway, actor, comedian and singer, died aged 91.
1997: An underground anti-road protest came to an end after six days as the last demonstrator, known as Swampy, emerged from a tunnel underneath the proposed A30 extension route in Devon.
2008: Entertainer and TV presenter Jeremy Beadle died in hospital in north London at the age of 59 following a short battle with pneumonia.
2014: Irish authorities were sure that ‘filler product’ found in contaminated burgers sold in supermarkets came from Poland and was a mixture of beef and horse offcuts, the Food Standards Agency said.
ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: After helping to brew a new ale named in her honour, the Duchess of Cornwall joked: “I’m only here for the beer.”
BIRTHDAYS: Gene Hackman, actor, 89; Vanessa Redgrave, actress, 82; Boris Spassky, chess master, 82; Dick Cheney, US politician, 78; Phil Collins, rock singer/drummer, 68; Brett Butler, actress, 61; Christian Bale, actor, 45; Wilmer Valderrama, actor, 39; Peter Crouch, footballer, 38.