29 January 1711

William Cheselden passed the final examination of the Barber Surgeons' Company. Appointed surgeon at St Thomas's Hospital in 1720, he specialised in the removal of bladder stones, achieving vastly improved survival rates. He was later appointed surgeon for the stone at the Westminster Infirmary and St George's Hospital and, in 1727, surgeon to Queen Caroline. Cheselden also developed new techniques in eye surgery, notably in the removal of cataracts. His The Anatomy of the Human Body, published in 1713, remained an essential student manual until the end of the 18th century.


29 January 1712

A conference convened at Utrecht to negotiate a peace between France and the Grand Alliance and bring an end to the War of the Spanish Succession. A series of treaties were signed by the warring nations in the spring of the following year.

29 January 1728

The first performance of John Gay's The Beggar's Opera takes place at John Rich's theatre at Lincoln's Inn Fields, London. It was the first of the genre of "ballad operas" combining a spoken play with frequent songs set to popular tunes of the day. The play, a rich satire on English contemporary society, was seen by many as a comment on the corrupting effects of Walpole's government. It was an immediate hit and such was its financial success that wags commented that it had made "Gay rich and Rich gay".

29 January 1863

At least 250 Native American men, women and children were killed when Colonel Patrick Connor and a detachment of California volunteers attacked a group of the Shoshone tribe who were camped on the Bear River in present-day Idaho.


29 January 1979

Following the establishment of diplomatic relations between their two countries, Deng Xiaoping, the deputy premier of China, meets US President Jimmy Carter in Washington.

More like this
Browse more On this day in history