24 July 1567

Having been imprisoned by her rebellious nobles in Loch Leven Castle, Mary, Queen of Scots is forced to abdicate in favour of her one-year- old son, who becomes James VI.


24 July 1621

George Abbot, archbishop of Canterbury since 1611, was hunting with Lord Zouche at Bramshill in Hampshire when he accidentally shot Peter Hawkins, a gamekeeper, with his crossbow. Hawkins died shortly afterwards and, although Abbot was acquitted of any wrongdoing, the incident was a severe blow both to his reputation and authority. He later wrote that the incident had exposed him to "the rejoycing of the papist, the insulting of the puritan, the greefe of my freendes, the contentment of ill-willers".

24 July 1810

Twenty four thousand French attacked five thousand soldiers of the British Light Division, who were strung out on the wrong side of the river Coa near Almeida, Portugal. The British narrowly escaped being cut off.

24 July 1862

Death of Martin van Buren, the eighth president of the United States, from 1837 to 1841, and the first one to be born an American citizen.

24 July 1911

In the jungles of Peru, the American explorer and amateur archaeologist Hiram Bingham comes across the site of Machu Picchu, then virtually unknown in the outside world.

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24 July 1943

Start of Operation Gomorrah, a week-long bombing offensive against Hamburg. The resulting firestorm took the lives of about 40,000 people and all but destroyed the city.

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