15 April 1071

After a long siege, Bari, the last Byzantine possession in southern Italy, falls to the Normans.


15 April 1469

Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, is born in the village of Talwandi near Lahore in present-day Pakistan.

15 April 1450

At the battle of Formigny, the French destroyed an English force under Sir Thomas Kyriell which had been sent across the Channel in a vain attempt to halt the French reconquest of Normandy.

15 April 1641

Physician and geographer Sir Robert Sibbald was born. A co-founder of the botanical garden and the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh, he took a great interest in whales. The Blue Whale was once known as Balaenoptera Sibbaldi, after him.

15 April 1707

Birth in Basel of leading 18th century mathematician, Leonhard Euler.

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15 April 1793

Faced with a shortage of gold coin, the Bank of England issued its first five-pound notes. Their black-on-white design was to remain essentially unchanged until 1957.

15 April 1858

Emile Durkheim is born in Epinal in eastern France. His work will help to establish sociology as an accepted academic discipline.


15 April 1942

King George VI wrote to the Governor of Malta: "To honour her brave people I award the George Cross to the island fortress of Malta to bear witness to a heroism and a devotion that will long be famous in history."

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