27 October 1659

Quakers Marmaduke Stevenson and William Robinson were hanged in Boston for returning to Massachusetts after being banished on pain of death. A third Quaker, Mary Dyer, who had also been sentenced to death for returning to the colony, accompanied them to the scaffold but was given a last-minute reprieve. She spent the winter on Rhode Island but in May 1660 once again returned to Boston to complain about the harshness of the anti-Quaker legislation. This time there was to be no reprieve and she was hanged on 1 June.


27 October 1470

The 13-year-old Henry Tudor had an audience with Henry VI, who had recently been restored to the throne by the Earl of Warwick. It was later claimed that the king prophesied that his nephew would one day rule England.

27 October 1728

Birth in Marton, North Yorkshire of explorer James Cook, the son of a farm labourer. Cook will learn his trade sailing up and down the North Sea coast before joining the Navy in 1755.

27 October 1807

France and Spain agree to the partition of Portugal.

27 October 1811

Birth of Isaac Merritt Singer, founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. The success of his products was due to their suitability for home use and their availability on hire purchase.


27 October 1942

With Montgomery's offensive at El Alamein in its fifth day, the Germans and Italians mounted an armoured counter-attack at Kidney Ridge, but were driven back and sustained heavy tank losses.

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