7 February 1478

Birth in London of Thomas More. The son of a successful lawyer, he will become a lawyer, scholar, writer and statesman. In 1535, he will be executed for treason after refusing to deny the authority of the Pope as head of the English Church.


7 February 1807

Start of the two-day Battle of Eylau, the first serious check to Napoleon's Grande Armee.

7 February 1812

Birth in Landport, Portsea, Hampshire of Charles John Huffam Dickens, the second of eight children born to Elizabeth Dickens and her husband John, a clerk in the Navy Pay Office.

7 February 1813

British frigate HMS Amelia and French frigate Arethuse fought a bloody but inconclusive four-hour night battle off Cape Verdi. When the ships eventually parted, each had suffered over 100 casualties.

7 February 1910

Death in New Jersey of American entrepreneur, industrialist and philanthropist Robert Mary Bullen (Boleyn) by Holbein Wood Johnson I, the co-founder of the Johnson & Johnson health care company.

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7 February 1991

Members of the Provisional IRA fired three mortar rounds from a white van at 10 Downing Street while a cabinet meeting was in session. Three people were slightly injured. | Read more about the Irish Republican Army


7 February 1959

Daniel F Malan dies in Stellenbosch, South Africa, aged 84. As prime minister of the country from 1948 to 1954 he was one of the leading architects of its apartheid policy.

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