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Births: Isambard Kingdom Brunel, engineer, 1806; Charles-Pierre Baudelaire, poet, 1821; Eadweard Muybridge (Edward James Muggeridge), photographer and inventor, 1830; Sir Gerald Festus Kelly, artist, 1879; Paul Bustill Robeson, actor and singer, 1898; Hugh Todd Naylor Gaitskell, statesman, 1906; Victor Vasarely, Op Art painter, 1908; Sir Robert Murray Helpmann, dancer, 1909.

Deaths: Lorenzo de' Medici ("The Magnificent"), statesman, 1492; Francois Rabelais, writer, 1553; Francis Bacon, Viscount St Albans, statesman, 1626; Simon Fraser, 12th Baron Lovat, Scottish Jacobite, the last man to be beheaded in England 1747; Jacques Necker, financier and statesman, 1804; Dante Gabriel Rossetti, poet and pre-Raphaelite painter, 1882; Edward Thomas, poet, killed in action 1917; Mrs Patrick Campbell (Beatrice Stella Tanner), actress, 1940; Dietrich Bonhoeffer, theologian, executed 1945; Cyril Edwin Mitchinson Joad, philosopher, 1953; Frank Lloyd Wright, architect, 1959; Sir Basil Henry Blackwell, bookseller and publisher, 1984.

On this day: Botany Bay, Australia, was discovered by Captain James Cook, 1770; the National Gallery, London, was opened, 1838; the Battle of Arras began, 1917; Latvia proclaimed her independence, 1918; the Suez Canal was cleared for all shipping, 1957; Georgia voted to secede from the Soviet Union, 1991.

Today is the Feast Day of St Gaucherius, St Hugh of Rouen, St Mary Cleophas, St Uramar and St Waldetrudis or Waudru.