8 March 1673

Needing financial aid from his Anglican parliament for the war against the Dutch, Charles II agreed to withdraw his Declaration of Indulgence which had allowed Protestant nonconformists to meet for worship if they obtained licences, and Catholics to worship in private.


8 March 1669

A coach carrying King Charles II and other members of the royal family overturns in the dark at Holborn. According to Samuel Pepys the King is "all dirty, but no hurt".

8 March 1711

Members of the British cabinet were questioning the French spy the Marquis de Guiscard when he pulled out a knife and stabbed Sir Robert Harley in the chest. Harley, who as chancellor of the exchequer was one of Queen Anne's chief ministers, was said to have been saved from death thanks to the heavy gold thread embroidery that his sister Abigail had sewn onto his coat, which broke the blade of the knife. Harley was, however, wounded by a second blow and forced to take to his bed for six weeks.

8 March 1712

Physician, naturalist and Quaker John Fothergill was born in Wensleydale, Yorkshire. In 1748 he published An Account of the Sore-Throat Attended with Ulcers, which discussed a London epidemic now thought to be scarlet fever.

8 March 1748

With the help of troops sent from Jamaica, a British naval squadron under the command of Rear-Admiral Sir Charles Knowles captures Port Louis, Saint-Domingue (Haiti) from the French.

8 March 1910

French aviatrix Raymonde de Laroche became the world's first licensed female pilot when the Aero-Club de France issued her with licence number 36 of the Federation Aeronautique International. On the same day, JTC Moore Brabazon received the first pilot's licence in the United Kingdom when he was issued with Royal Aero Club licence number 1. De Laroche was eventually killed in a plane crash in 1919. Brabazon entered politics and later served as minister of transport and then minister of aircraft production in Churchill's wartime government.


8 March 1917

German airship designer Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin dies.

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