James Ley, a heavyweight champion and the defeat of the Zulus: 3 things that happened On This Day 4 July

What happened on this day in history? We round up three famous events, births, battles and deaths...


4 July

1879: Lord Chelmsford’s British forces defeated the Zulus near King Cetshwayo’s capital at Ulundi. The royal kraal was burned to the ground. Cetshwayo escaped but was hunted down and captured a few weeks later.


1910: In what was dubbed the fight of the century, African-American boxer Jack Johnson defeated James J Jeffries in Reno, Nevada to become the first black heavyweight champion of the world.

1621: James Ley, a prominent Stuart lawyer and administrator and the future Earl of Marlborough, married Jane Boteler, niece of royal favourite the Duke of Buckingham. He was 70; she was 17.


Compiled by Julian Humphrys – You can follow Julian on Twitter @GeneralJules