7 January 1451

Pope Nicholas V issued a Papal Bull authorising the establishment of Glasgow University. William Turnbull, the bishop of Glasgow and the man who had campaigned for the foundation of the university, became its first chancellor.


7 January 1558

France recaptures Calais from the English. Surrendered to Edward III in 1347, the town remained in English hands even after France's final victory in the Hundred Years War. A key trading port for the export of wool and leather, it sent two MPs to Westminster. It also housed a substantial permanent garrison with the result that the Captain of Calais was one of the kingdom's most important military postings. By 1558 however its defences were decayed and its garrison weakened and the Duke of Guise recaptured it without much difficulty.

7 January 1619

Burial of goldsmith and miniaturist Nicholas Hilliard. He became miniature painter to Queen Elizabeth I in about 1570, and works attributed to him include portraits of Drake, Ralegh and Essex as well as paintings of the Queen herself.

7 January 1913

Standard Oil chemist William Merriam Burton received a US patent for his thermal cracking process, which doubled the yield of gasoline from a barrel of crude oil.


7 January 1932

Death in Paris of André Maginot, French minister of war and proponent of the defensive system of forts and strongpoints that was named after him.

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