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Births: Tintoretto (Jacopo Robusti), painter, 1518; Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, playwright and novelist, 1547; Horatio, Viscount Nelson, admiral, 1758; William Thomas Beckford, novelist, collector and spendthrift, 1760; Mrs Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, novelist, 1810; William Whiteley, department store pioneer, 1831; Sir Billy Butlin, holiday camp pioneer, 1899; Trevor Wallace Howard, actor, 1913.

Deaths: Sir William Orpen, painter, 1931; Winifred Holtby, novelist, 1935; Bruce Bairnsfather, cartoonist, 1959; Carson McCullers, novelist, 1967; Wystan Hugh Auden, poet, 1973.

On this day: the police force inaugurated by Sir Robert Peel started duty in London, 1829; Italy declared war on Turkey over Tripoli, 1911; Turkey and Bulgaria signed the peace treaty of Constantinople, 1913; the Allies broke through the German Hindenburg Line, 1918; a British Mandate was proclaimed over Palestine, 1923; the BBC Third Programme started, 1946.

Today is the Feast Day of St Gabriel, St Michael and St Raphael, archangels, Saints Rhipsime, Gaiana and Companions and St Theodota of Philippolis.