22 April 1451

Isabella of Castile, the daughter of John II of Castile and Isabella of Portugal, was born in Madrigal de las Altas Torres. Her marriage in 1469 to the future Ferdinand II of Aragon laid the foundations for the unification of Spain.


22 April 1809

Sir Arthur Wellesley disembarks at Lisbon and once again takes command of British forces in the Iberian Peninsula. He had previously been recalled to England to appear before a Court of Inquiry into what was generally seen as the outrageously over-generous terms accorded to the French in the Convention of Cintra, following their defeat at Vimeiro in August 1808, but had been cleared of blame. Three weeks later he will surprise a French army under Marshal Soult at Oporto and hustle it out of Portugal.

22 April 1827

Caricaturist Thomas Rowlandson dies.

22 April 1830

Suffragist and advocate of women's education Emily Davies was born in Southampton. She and her sister were denied serious schooling while her brothers were all formally educated. She later became committed to opening university degrees to women on the same terms as men. In 1869 she founded Girton College which was initially at Hitchin before moving near Cambridge in 1873.

22 April 1833

Cornish inventor, mining engineer and builder of the first full-scale working railway steam locomotive Richard Trevithick died, aged 62, at Dartford in Kent.

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22 April 1838

The steamship Sirius arrives in New York after an 18-day journey to become the first steamer to cross the Atlantic non-stop. Brunel's Great Western arrives the next day having beaten Sirius's crossing time by more than three days.

22 April 1912

English contralto Kathleen Ferrier was born in Higher Walton, Lancashire, where her father was headmaster of the village school. She rose to become one of the world's most admired singers but died from cancer aged only 41.


22 April 1915

At the second battle of Ypres, the Germans release huge clouds of chlorine gas for the first time, over a section of the front manned by French and north African troops.

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