14 February 1483

Birth in Andijan in modern-day Uzbekistan of Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur. Popularly known as Babur, meaning ‘the lion’, he was a descendant of Genghis Khan and Turkic ruler Tamerlaine, and India’s first Mughal emperor.


14 February 1779

Yorkshire explorer Captain James Cook is killed in Hawaii following a dispute with some of the local inhabitants over the theft of one of his boats.

14 February 1780

Death in Wallingford, Berkshire of English jurist Sir William Blackstone. His four-volume Commentaries on the Laws of England was a major influence on the creators of the constitution of the United States of America.

14 February 1797

Admiral Sir John Jervis defeats the Spanish at the battle of Cape St Vincent.

14 February 1804

In a remote Serbian village, local nationalists led by Black George Petrovic launch a rising against the Ottoman empire.

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14 February 1852

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children opened its doors to the public. The first in-patient was Eliza Armstrong from Lisson Grove who was suffering from phthisis and bronchitis.

14 February 1858

Scottish geologist and explorer Joseph Thomson is born in Penpont, Dumfriesshire. Thomson's Gazelle (Gazella Thomsoni) is named after him.


14 February 1941

Sent by Hitler to save the faltering Italian army from defeat at the hands of the British, the first units of the German Afrika Korps arrived in North Africa.

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