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Births: John Cotton, Puritan leader in New England, 1585; Thomas Godfrey, poet and playwright, 1736; Jeanne-Francoise Julie-Adelaide Bernard, Madame Recamier, French society leader, 1777; Thomas Carlyle, writer, 1795; General Sir William Fenwick Williams, soldier, 1800; Dr John Kitto, writer and Biblical editor, 1804; George Henry Boughton, painter, 1833; Samuel Butler, writer and satirist, 1835; Johann Heinrich Bonawitz, pianist, 1839; Lillian Russell (Helen Louise Leonard), singer and actress, 1861; Edith Louisa Cavell, nurse, 1865; Rainer Maria Rilke, poet, 1875; Richard Horatio Edgar Wallace, thriller novelist and playwright, 1875; Sir Herbert Hamilton Harty, conductor, 1879; Katharine Susannah Prichard, novelist, 1883; Sir Herbert Read, poet and critic, 1893; Alfred Leslie Rowse, scholar and historian, 1903.

Deaths: Pope John XXII, 1334; Nicholas Ferrar, theologian, 1637; Armand- Jean du Plessis, Cardinal and duc de Richelieu, statesman, 1642; William Drummond of Hawthornden, poet, 1649; Thomas Hobbes, political philosopher, 1679; John Gay, poet, playwright and writer, 1732; Robert Banks Jenkinson, second Earl of Liverpool, statesman, 1828; William Sturgeon, electrical engineer, 1850; James Duffield Harding, landscape painter, 1863; Stefan George, poet, 1933; Thomas Hunt Morgan, geneticist, 1945; Glenn Luther Martin, aircraft inventor, 1955; Jack (John Wesley Vivian) Payne, bandleader, 1969; Hannah Arendt, political philosopher, 1975; Baron Edward Benjamin Britten, composer, 1976.

On this day: Nicholas Breakspear was elected Pope Adrian IV, thus becoming the only Englishman to be pope, 1154; the Council of Trent was dissolved, 1563; the Observer was first published, 1791; income tax was first introduced, by William Pitt, 1798; the Inquisition in Spain was abolished by Napoleon, 1808; suttee (the burning of a widow on her husband's funeral pyre) was abolished in India, 1829; the colony of Queensland was established, 1859; the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand, London, were opened, 1882; the Chain Pier at Brighton was destroyed during heavy gales, 1896; the kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was proclaimed, 1918; Timothy Healy became the first Governor-General of the Irish Free State, 1922; after two trains collided in fog at Lewisham, London, 92 people were killed and 173 injured, 1957; Jean Bedel Bokassa crowned himself emperor of the Central African Empire at Bangui, 1977; Dr Francisco de Sa Carneiro, prime minister of Portugal, was killed in an air crash at Lisbon, 1980.

Today is the Feast Day of St Anno, St Bernard of Parma, St John of Damascus, St Maruthas, St Osmund and St Sola.