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Births: Queen Elizabeth I, 1533; Stephen Hales, botanist and inventor, 1677; Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, naturalist, 1707; Francois- Andre Danican Philidor, composer and chess champion, 1726; Thomas Coutts, banker, 1735; John William Polidori, physician and author, 1795; William Butterfield, church architect, 1814; John McDouall Stuart, explorer of Australia, 1815; Ferdinand von Hebra, dermatologist, 1816; Sir Henry Campbell- Bannerman, statesman, 1836; William Friese-Greene, pioneer of the cinema, 1855; Anna Mary ("Grandma") Moses, primitive painter, 1860; George Herbert Hirst, cricketer, 1871; Clarence Michael James Dennis, poet and journalist ("laureate of the larrikin"), 1876; Dame Edith Sitwell, writer, 1887; Bruce Frederick Cummings ("W.N.P. Barbellion"), diarist and biologist, 1889; Lt-Gen Sir Brian Gwynne Horrocks, soldier and author, 1895; Sir John Anthony Quayle, actor, 1913; Group Captain Lord Cheshire, OM, VC, 1917; Peter Lawford, actor, 1923; Charles Hardin ("Buddy") Holly, rock singer, 1936.

Deaths: Ferdinand IV ("El Emplazado"), King of Castile and Leon, 1312; Frederick IV, King of Germany, 1493; Ferdinand II, King of Naples, 1496; Catherine Parr, sixth wife of King Henry VIII, 1548; Henri Desmarets, composer, 1741; Hannah More, author and evangelist, 1833; Sidney Lanier, poet, 1881; John Greenleaf Whittier, poet and naturalist, 1892; Rene-Francois- Armand Sully Prudhomme, poet, 1907; William Holman Hunt, pre-Raphaelite painter, 1910; Gertrude Lawrence (Alexandra Dagmar Lawrence-Klasen), actress, 1952; Charles Burgess Fry, cricketer, footballer and journalist, 1956; Spring Byington, film actress, 1971; Patrick Gordon Campbell, third Baron Glenavy, writer and broadcaster, 1981; Liam O'Flaherty, novelist, 1984.

On this day: the Genoese defeated the Venetians at the naval Battle of Curzola, 1298; the French were defeated by Prince Eugene at Turin, 1706; the French army under Napoleon defeated the Russians at the Battle of Borodino, 1812; the first known reference to "Uncle Sam" was in an editorial in the Troy Post (New York), 1813; the independence of Brazil from Portugal was declared, 1822; Grace Horsley Darling and William, her father rescued the crew of the Forfarshire steamship at the Farne Islands, 1838; the Peace of Pekin ended the Boxer Rising in China, 1901; the British explorer Sir Francis Younghusband led an expedition to Tibet, where a treaty was signed with the Dalai Lama, 1904; the "Black Knight", a British ballistic missile, was fired from the Woomera range in Australia, 1958.

Today is the Feast Day of Saints Alcmund and Tilbert, St Anastasius the Fuller, St Cloud or Clodoald, St Grimonia, St John of Nicomedia, St Regina or Reine of Alise and St Sozon.