Major Anniversaries in 2020
850 years since the death of Thomas Becket, venerated as a saint and as a martyr by the Catholic and Anglican churches
500 years since the death of Raphael, one of the three masters of the Italian rennaisance along with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci
400 years since The Mayflower departed Southampton carrying 102 English puritans to America where they founded Plymouth Colony
375 years since the Battle of Naseby, where the Parliamentarian New Model Army routed a much smaller Royalist army, effectively ending the English Civil War
300 years since the birth of English curate Gilbert White, one of the world's first naturalists
300 years since the birth of James Hargreaves, English weaver, carpenter and inventor, best known for devising the 'spinning jenny', one of the key milestones in early textile manufacturing
300 years since the South Sea Bubble when the shares of the South Sea Company collapsed back to their floatation price after a ten fold rise in the previous eight months
275 years since the death of Jonathan Swift, Anglo-Irish author and cleric, best known for writing 'Gulliver's Travels', a seminal work in 'British' fiction (it was written in Ireland when all of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom)
250 years since the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven, widely considered to be the greatest and most influential classical composer of all time
250 years since the birth of William Wordsworth, English poet who founded the Romantic Age of English literature with fellow poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge