2 October: On this day in history

What events happened on 2 October in history? Dominic Sandbrook rounds up the events, births and deaths…

On this day_Numbers_orange2

2 October 1452

The future King Richard III of England was born in Fotheringay Castle in Northamptonshire. He was the youngest surviving child of Richard, Duke of York and Cecily Neville.

Advertisement

2 October 1501: A Spanish princess joins the Tudor dynasty

Catherine of Aragon battles storms and bad omens before landing in England

In the spring of 1501, Catherine of Aragon took a last look at the minarets of Granada. For years she had been betrothed to Arthur Tudor, heir to the throne of England. And now that she was almost 16, her parents had run out of excuses to delay the inevitable.

It took Catherine’s travelling party three months to reach the port of La Coruña. But when her ship cast off, a ferocious storm blew up in the Bay of Biscay. Thrown off course, the captain was forced to put in at Laredo, further along the coast.

Later, people said this had been an omen. Even Catherine, they claimed, had wondered aloud if the storm was a warning from God of some calamity ahead. Still, storms in the Bay of Biscay were hardly unusual, even in summer. And on the evening of 27 September, the gales died down and Catherine’s captain was ready to set sail for a second time.

Once again, however, the weather seemed to be against them. As the storm raged, Catherine was racked by terrible seasickness. So were her young companions, who sank to their knees in prayer. As one recalled, “it was impossible not to be frightened”.

But on the afternoon of 2 October 1501, the princess’s ship sailed into Plymouth. Already a crowd was waiting, and as she stepped onto the quayside, cheers rang around the harbour. “She could not have been received with greater rejoicing,” wrote her doctor a few days later, “had she been the Saviour of the world.”


2 October 1800

Birth in Virginia of Nathaniel ‘Nat’ Turner. In 1831 he led a slave rebellion in which over 50 white people were killed. Fifty six slaves were executed in the aftermath, including Turner, and more than a hundred innocent slaves were killed in retaliation.


2 October 1847

Birth in Posen, Prussia (now Poznan, Poland) of German soldier and statesman Paul von Hindenburg.


2 October 1869

Statesman and nationalist leader Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi was born in Porbandar, western India. His father was Dewan (chief minister) to the state of Porbandar’s princely ruler.


2 October 1878

Collapse of the City of Glasgow Bank. The directors of the Scottish bank, which had been founded in 1839 and had 133 branches, had been concealing debts of over six million pounds. Its 1,200 shareholders not only lose the money they had invested but are liable for the bank’s debts in proportion to their shareholdings: the majority are bankrupted. The bank’s directors will be tried at the High Court in Edinburgh for fraud, found guilty and sentenced to between eight and 18 months’ imprisonment.”


2 October 1941

Launch of the main phase of Operation Typhoon, the German army’s Second World War bid to capture Moscow before the onset of winter.


2 October 1961

The first edition of the viewer feedback programme Points of View aired. It was presented by a young Robert Robinson, who asked viewers to send their letters, saying: “”I hope they will be highly critical and frightfully disobedient, and so help television from one of its besetting sins, which is complacency.

The resulting letters were frequently funny and, combined with Robinson’s witty presentation, ensured the programme entertained even as it held the BBC to account. Points of View has been presented by Anne Robinson, Carol Vorderman, and Terry Wogan, among others, and features clips from television shows.

Advertisement

In the days before video recorders, this gave viewers the chance to catch a favourite clip again, or to see an error or funny moment that had been spotted by an eagle-eyed correspondent. Today, programme executives frequently appear on the programme, which is currently presented by Jeremy Vine. JH

Browse more On this day in history

Screenshot 2021-09-09 at 17.22.22