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Births: Peter De Wint, painter, 1784; Thomas Attwood Walmisley, organist and composer, 1814; Thomas Jonathan ("Stonewall") Jackson, Confederate general, 1824; Sophia Louisa Jex-Blake, physician and women's liberation pioneer, 1840; Duncan James Corrowr Grant, painter, 1885; Cristbal Balenciaga, couturier, 1895; Christian Dior, couturier, 1905; Benny Hill (Alfred Hawthorn Hill), comedian, 1924.

Deaths: Pope Paschal II, 1118; Henry Hallam, historian, 1859; Elisha Gray, inventor, 1901; Lenin (Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov), Russian leader, 1924; Lytton Giles Strachey, biographer and critic, 1932; George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair), novelist, 1950; Cecil Blount de Mille, film director, 1959; Marie Lohr, actress, 1975.

On this day: taxi-cabs were first officially recognised in Britain, 1907; a Bill aimed at raising the school-leaving age to 15 was defeated in the House of Commons, 1931; Edward VIII was proclaimed king, 1936.

Today is the Feast Day of St Agnes, St Alban or Barth-olomew Roe, St Epiphanius of Pavia, St Fructuosus of Tarragona, St Meinrad and St Patroclus of Troyes.