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Births: Armand-Jean-du Plessis de Richelieu, Cardinal and statesman, 1585; William Bligh, captain of the Bounty, 1754; Eduard Hildebrandt, painter, 1818; Ralph Hodgson, poet, 1871; Max Reinhardt (Goldmann), theatre director, 1873; James Evershed Agate, theatre critic, 1877; James Hilton, novelist, 1900; Cesare Pavese, poet and novelist, 1908; Paul Goodman, novelist, playwright and poet, 1911.

Deaths: William I, King (the Conqueror), 1087; James IV, King of Scotland, killed in battle at Flodden 1513; Shaka, King of the Zulus, assassinated 1828; Stephane Mallarme, poet, 1898; Henri-Marie-Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec- Monfa, painter, 1901; Roger Eliot Fry, artist, 1934; Mao Tse-tung, Chinese leader, 1976; Hugh MacDiarmid (Christopher Murray Grieve), poet and critic, 1978; Sir Georg Solti (Gyorgy Stern), conductor, 1997.

On this day: the English defeated the Scots at the Battle of Flodden Field, 1513; San Sebastian, held by the French, surrendered to the Duke of Wellington, 1813; California became the 31st of the United States, 1850; the first regular airmail service was started from Hendon to Windsor, 1911; the first hijack of a British aircraft took place near Beirut, 1970.

Today is the Feast Day of St Bettelin, St Ciaran or Kieran of Clonmacnois, St Gorgonius, St Isaac or Sahak the Great, St Joseph of Volokolamsk, St Omer or Audomarus and St Peter Claver.