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Births: Sir John Holt, Lord Chief Justice, 1642; Joseph Rudyard Kipling, author and poet, 1865; Simon Guggenheim, senator and philanthropist, 1867; Leslie Poles Hartley, novelist, 1895; Sir Carol Reed, film director, 1906.

Deaths: Richard, Duke of York, killed 1460; Amelia Jenks Bloomer, social reformer, 1894; Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin, Siberian peasant and mystic, murdered 1916; Rufus Daniel Isaacs, first Marquess of Reading, Lord Chief Justice, 1935; Romain Rolland, author, 1944; Alfred North Whitehead, mathematician, 1947; Richard Charles Rodgers, composer, 1979.

On this day: the Yorkists suffered a defeat at the Battle of Wakefield, 1460; Gilbert and Sullivan's opera The Pirates of Penzance had its first performance, at Paignton, Devon, 1879; Paul Kruger declared the Transvaal a republic, and became the first president, 1880; Zululand was annexed to Natal, 1897; the P & O liner Persia was torpedoed off Crete with the loss of 200 lives, 1915; King Michael of Romania abdicated, 1947; Karol Wojtyla (later to be Pope John Paul II) became Archbishop of Krakow, Poland, 1963.

Today is the Feast Day of St Anysia, St Anysius, St Egwin and St Sabinus of Spoleto.