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Births: Luke Hansard, printer of Hansard, 1752; Mrs Sarah Siddons (Kemble), actress, 1755; William Crotch, composer and musical prodigy, 1775; Charles Alfred Stothard, antiquarian draughtsman, 1786; Phineas Taylor Barnum, showman, 1810; John Loughborough Pearson, architect, 1817; Mandell Creighton, Bishop of London and author, 1843; Agnes Zimmermann, pianist and composer, 1845; Cecil John Rhodes, colonial developer and politician, 1853; Joseph Holbrooke, composer, 1878; Dwight Filley Davis, statesman and founder of the Davis Tennis Cup, 1879; Jean Cocteau, poet, novelist and artist, 1889; Georges Pompidou, president of France, 1911.

Deaths: Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Amadeus Hoffmann, author, artist and composer, 1822; Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, founder of Singapore, 1826; James Hall, judge, editor and author, 1868; Sir Austen Henry Layard, archaeologist, 1894; Jules-Adolphe Aime- Louis Breton, painter, 1906; Georges Bernanos, novelist and writer, 1948; Wilhelm Backhaus, pianist, 1969; Thomas Joseph Mboya, Kenyan statesman, assassinated 1969; Georgette Heyer, novelist, 1974.

On this day: in London, the Star Chamber was abolished, 1641; the Parliamentarians were defeated by the Royalists at the Battle of Lansdown, 1643; George Hammond, the first British ambassador to the United States was appointed, 1791; the British were defeated by the American forces at the Battle of Chippewa, 1814; the gold sovereign coin was first issued, 1817; the Spectator was first published, 1828; the travel agents, Thomas Cook and Son were founded when the first excursion train was run from Leicester to Loughborough, 1841; the Salvation Army was founded, when William Booth held the first open-air Christian Mission at Mile End, London, 1865; after the general election, the Labour Party received its first absolute majority, 1945; the National Health Service came into operation, 1948.

Today is Tynwald Day, Isle of Man and the Feast Day of St Antony-Mary Zaccaria and St Athanasius the Athonite.