17 February 1313

Pope Clement V lifted the ban of excommunication on Venice which had been in place for nearly four years following conflict between the city and the papacy over control of Ferrara.


17 February 1461

A Lancastrian army under the Duke of Somerset and Queen Margaret of Anjou defeated the Earl of Warwick at the second battle of St Albans, and rescued Margaret's husband, King Henry VI, from Yorkist captivity.

17 February 1600

After spending seven years as a prisoner of the Inquisition, Neapolitan philosopher and astronomer Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for heresy in the Campo dei Fiori in Rome.

17 February 1662

Frederick Coyett, the last governor of Dutch-occupied Taiwan, abandoned the island to its Ming conquerors, who were led by Koxinga.

17 February 1877

Birth of French minister of war and fortification enthusiast André Maginot.

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17 February 1909

Chiricahua Apache leader Geronimo died of pneumonia, aged 79. He had fought with some success against both Mexican and American troops for nearly 30 years before his surrender in 1886.

17 February 1958

Five thousand people attended the inaugural public meeting of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, held at the Central Hall, Westminster. Speakers included Bertrand Russell, AJP Taylor, Alex Comfort, Michael Foot and JB Priestley.


17 February 1962

James Hanratty was found guilty at Bedford assizes of the 'A6 murder' of scientist Michael Gregsten and sentenced to death. After his appeal was rejected he was hanged in April in Bedford prison.

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