Back to Top

20th of September








September 20

In 1697 the Nine-Year War (1688-1697) ended.


On the 9th of December 1688 William of Orange defeated James II at the Battle of Reading and soon after he and his wife Mary became joint monarchs of England, Ireland and Scotland in what became known as “the Glorious Revolution”. He was deeply opposed to French King Louise XIV who had tried to invade his homeland of the Dutch Republic in the Franco-Dutch War (1678). James was placed in custody in the Netherlands but escaped shortly after on the 23rd of December 1688 and he fled to France where he was welcomed by his cousin Louis XIV.


Louis XIV was attempting to expand the borders of France once more and in September 1688 his forces crossed the Rhine in the hope of scaring King Leopold I of the Holy Roman Empire, and the other German Kings, into accepting his new boarders. But the League of Augsburg or the Grand Alliance was founded in 1686 in preparation for such an attack by the French and the Nine Year War began. In 1689 William III entered England and Scotland into the Grand Alliance against the French and soon after the Spanish too joined the Grand Alliance (it was joining the alliance that prevented William III from giving Scotland his approval for their disastrous ‘Darien Venture’). Louis attempted to use his hold over former King Charles against William and aided him in his attempts to retake the thrones of England and Scotland. But 1st of July 1690 his army was defeated by William III at the battle of the Boyne and the Grand Alliance also defeated France and on the 20th of September 1697 the Treaty of Ryswick was signed, ending the war. Louis was forced to recognise Williams authority as King of England and Scotland (but the son and grandson of James would attempt to retake the throne in several ‘Jacobite’ uprisings).



In 1909 The Government of the United Kingdom passed an act creating the Union of South Africa.


After the Second Boer War (1899 – 1902) Britain took control of the Transvaal Colony and the Orange River Colony and wanted to unite them with her other colonies in the region. In 1907 governments were introduced to these two colonies successfully and on the 12th of October 1908 the National convention met to plan a union of the four British colonies. The resulting proposals (which were outlined by the governments of these colonies) were passed by the parliament of the UK on the 20th of September 1909. King Edward VII proclaimed that the formation of the Union of South Africa would be complete on the 31st of May 1910.



In 2000 the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) building was attacked by a rocket propelled grenade.


Home of MI6 the SIS building is heavily protected 9 story fortress was bought in 1988 under the Thatcher government for MI6 in secret. It cost around £547million to build and was completed in April 1994. On the 20th of September 2000 unknown assailants fired a Russian built RPG (rocket propelled grenade) at one of the triple glazed windows on eighth the floor causing minimal damage. The Rocket launcher and remains of the rocket which exploded against the window were found by police but no-one has ever been apprehended for the attack (although it was theorised that it may have been the work of the IRA)