Quebec, Sir James Somerville and cotton thread: 3 things that happened On This Day 3 July

What happened on this day in history? We round up three famous events, births, battles and deaths...

© Grublee |

July 3

1940: Nearly 1,300 French sailors lost their lives when a British naval force under Vice-Admiral Sir James Somerville attacked a French fleet at Mers-el-Kebir in order to prevent it from falling into German hands. 

1769: Former Preston wig-maker Richard Arkwright was granted a patent for his prototype spinning machine, for producing cotton thread.

1608: Sponsored by King Henry IV of France, Huguenot navigator Samuel de Champlain founded the city of Quebec. The city’s name is derived from a local Algonquin word meaning ‘where the river [ie the St Lawrence] narrows’.

Compiled by Julian Humphrys – You can follow Julian on Twitter @GeneralJules


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