7 April 1739

Notorious highwayman Dick Turpin is hanged in York. On the day of his execution, Turpin becomes a celebrity: members of the public visit his cell to speak with him, apparently buying drinks from his gaoler. He hires five professional mourners to follow him to the gallows.


7 April 1770

Birth in Cockermouth of Romantic poet William Wordsworth. The large Georgian house in which he was born is now in the care of the National Trust.

c 1823

Death of French inventor, physicist and balloonist Jacques Alexandre Cesar Charles. In 1783 he and Nicolas Louis Robert became the first men to fly in a hydrogen-filled balloon. Charles’s Law, which describes how gases expand when heated, is named after him.

7 April 1862

After a two-daystruggle, Union general Ulysses S Grant drove back the Confederates at Shiloh. Both sides suffered around 10,000 casualties making Shiloh the costliest battle in American history up to that time. | Read more about the American Civil War

7 April 1891

The founder of the LEGO ® construction toy company, Ole Kirk Christiansen, was born in Filso, Denmark.

7 April 1947

Car manufacturer Henry Ford dies aged 83.


7 April 1948

The acceptance of the constitution of the United Nations World Health Organisation by Byelorussia and Mexico gives it the 26 member state ratifications it needs to come into force.

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