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Births: Francesco Sforza, soldier, 1401; Franz Berwald, composer, 1796; George Catlin, artist and author, 1796; Richard Hol, composer and organist, 1825; Alan Francis Brooke, First Viscount Alanbrooke, soldier, 1883; Raymond Thornton Chandler, novelist, 1888; Ras Tafari Makonnen, Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, 1892; Michael Wilding, actor, 1912.

Deaths: Sir Henry Percy (Harry Hotspur), killed in battle 1403; Domenico Scarlatti, composer and harpsichordist, 1757; Elizabeth Hamilton, writer, 1816; David Wark Griffith, film director, 1948; Henri-Philippe Petain, soldier and Vichy leader, 1951; Edward Montgomery Clift, actor, 1966; Dell Floyd, novelist and playwright, 1969; Rosemary Sutcliff, historical novelist, 1992.

On this day: Charles Stuart, the Young Pretender, landed at Eriskay Island in the Hebrides, 1745; the Jewish Disabilities Removal Act was passed by Parliament, 1858; John Boyd Dunlop applied to patent a pneumatic tyre, 1888; King Farouk of Egypt was deposed by General Neguib, 1952; the Duke of York married Sarah Ferguson, 1986.

Today is the Feast Day of St Anne or Susanna, St Apollinaris of Ravenna, St Bridget of Sweden, St John Cassian, St Liborius, St Romula and her Companions, The Three Wise Men.


Births: Simon Bolivar, South American liberator, 1783; Alexandre Dumas pere (Davy de la Pailleterie), author, 1802; Edward Frederic Benson, novelist, 1867; Amelia Earhart, aviator, 1898.

Deaths: Benedetto Marcello, composer, 1739; John Sell Cotman, landscape painter, 1842; Captain Matthew Webb, cross-Channel swimmer, 1883; Peter Sellers, actor, 1980.

On this day: James VI acceded to the Scottish throne, 1567; the window tax was abolished in Britain, 1851; Arabi Pasha declared a Holy War in Egypt, 1883; the first greetings telegram was sent in Britain, 1935.

Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Boris or Romanus, St Christina of Bolsena, St Christina the Astonishing, St Declan, St Gleb or David and St Lewinna.