British History, Culture & Sports, History of Freedom, Heroes, Inventors, Brits at their, English country scene

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On this day - a round-robin of artists, inventors, rebels, sportsmen and explorers

A glance at On This Day provides a rather piquant taste of British history. In June, 1381, men and women marched on London in the Great Revolt to protest the much-hated poll tax. They did not consider themselves peasants, and would have hated the name. They were farmers and artisans, and are described in some detail in the Liberty Timeline. Painter John Constable was born on this day in 1776. We found his indomitable determination to become a good artist and his love of country irresistible and wrote about him here. And on this day in 1847, Sir John Franklin died in Canada trying to discover the North-West Passage. Franklin’s charting of the North American coast was accurate and extensive, and his bravery unites him with thousands of British explorers. We’ve written about his compatriots in Antarctica, where Mount Erebus and Mount Terror were named after his doomed ships, but not yet about him.

In English county cricket on this day, in 1907, Northamptonshire was bowled out for 12 by Gloucestershire, the lowest total in first class cricket. I admit to defeat in describing cricket, and wish one of our readers would help us give this game the justice it deserves by sending reports. In 1959 on this day Christopher Cockerell’s Hovercraft was officially demonstrated, travelling on a pillow of air just above the waves from France to Britain. We have the details on this charming and useful vehicle here. And, in 1965, on this day, all four members of the Beatles were awarded OBEs in The Queen's birthday honours list.

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