23 April 1343

On St George’s night, the Estonian people rise up against their Danish and German overlords, triggering a three-year war. The Danes eventually sell Estonia to the Teutonic Knights.


23 April 1430

Eight-year-old Henry VI crossed the Channel for his coronation as king of France. It was customary for such coronations to be held in Rheims but the military situation meant that, after spending a year in Rouen, he was eventually crowned in Paris.

23 April 1616

At the age of 52, playwright William Shakespeare dies of an unknown cause. He is later buried in Stratford-upon-Avon.

23 April 1633

Sweden, France and the Protestant princes of Germany formed the League of Heilbronn against the Catholic league in the Thirty years’ War.

23 April 1661

The coronation of Charles II took place in Westminster Abbey. Samuel Pepys recorded in his diary that despite having arrived seven hours early in order to secure a good spot from which to watch the proceedings, he found to his "very great grief" that he was unable to see the ceremony, could hear little of the music due to the noise, and had to leave early in order to relieve himself. The day ended with a tremendous thunderstorm; contemporaries were divided over whether this was a good or bad omen.

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23 April 1858

German physicist Max Planck is born in Kiel. A close friend of Einstein and one of the founders of quantum theory, he will be awarded the 1918 Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of energy quanta.

23 April 1927

Cardiff City FC beats Arsenal 1–0 to become the only non-English club to win the FA Cup.

23 April 1942

The German Luftwaffe bombed Exeter. It was the first of the so-called 'Baedeker raids' on English historic cities, organised in retaliation for the RAF's bombing of Lübeck.


23 April 1979

New Zealand-born teacher Blair Peach suffers fatal head injuries as the police break up a demonstration against the National Front in Southall.

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