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Births: Girolamo Savonarola, martyr and church reformer, 1452; Francesco Bartolozzi, engraver, 1727; Francis Hopkinson, composer, 1737; John Loudon McAdam, inventor, 1756; Sir Edmund William Gosse, writer and critic, 1849; Herbert George Wells, novelist, 1866; Gustav Holst (Gustavus Theodore von Holst), composer, 1874; Baron Constantine (Sir Learie Nicholas Constantine), cricketer and diplomat, 1902; Sir Allen Lane (Allen Lane Williams), publisher and founder of Penguin Books, 1902; Nigel Stock, actor, 1919; Dawn Addams, actress, 1930.

Deaths: Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro), poet, 19 BC; Edward II, king, murdered 1327; Marguerite d'Angouleme, Queen of Navarre, 1549; Sir Walter Scott, novelist, 1832; Arthur Schopenhauer, philosopher, 1860; Frank Hornby, inventor of "Meccano", 1936; Armand Calinescu, Romanian prime minister, assassinated 1939; Haakon VII, King of Norway, 1957; Henry Marie-Joseph Millon de Montherlant, novelist and playwright, 1972; William Charles Franklyn Plomer, writer, 1973; Walter Brennan, actor, 1974.

On this day: the Turkish army of Suleiman the Magnificent was repulsed at Vienna, 1529; Charles Edward Stuart defeated the English under General Cope at the Battle of Prestonpans, 1745; a duel was fought between Lord Castlereagh and George Canning, 1809; the London and Brighton Railway opened, 1841; the obelisk ship Cleopatra, towed by the steamer Olga, and carrying "Cleopatra's Needle", sailed from Alexandria for London, 1877; Stonehenge was sold by auction for pounds 6,600, 1915; the independence of Latvia was proclaimed, 1917; Britain abandoned the Gold Standard, and the pound fell from $4.86 to $3.49, 1931; the Czech cabinet accepted the Anglo-French plan to cede Sudeten territories to Germany, 1938; San Marino declared war on Germany, 1944; the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) was inaugurated, 1949; floods in Honduras killed more than 8,000 people, 1974.

Today is the Feast Day of St Matthew the Apostle, and St Maura of Troyes.