1 February 1587

Elizabeth I signs a death warrant for her cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots.


1 February 1662

The Dutch surrendered Taiwan to Chinese Ming loyalist warlord Koxinga after a nine-month siege. Koxinga planned to use the island as a base for operations against China's ruling Manchurian Qing dynasty.

1 February 1733

Britain’s James Oglethorpe landed near the present site of Savannah, Georgia with 116 colonists. A royal charter for the colony had been granted in 1732. (Because of the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar in 1752, Georgia celebrates its foundation on 12 February)

1 February 1809

In a fight in Epsom, for 200 guineas and a championship belt, Gloucestershire-born bare knuckle boxer Tom Cribb beats the one-eyed former champion Jem Belcher after 31 punishing rounds.

1 February 1851

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, author of Frankenstein and widow of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, died of a brain tumour at the age of 53.

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1 February 1908

King Carlos I of Portugal and his eldest son Luis Filipe are assassinated by Republican gunmen as they ride in their carriage through Lisbon. Carlos's younger son Manuel is also wounded but survives to become Portugal's last reigning monarch.


1 February 1920

In Canada the North-West Mounted Police merged with the Dominion Police, a federal force with jurisdiction in eastern Canada, to form the Royal Canadian Mounted Police – the Mounties.

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