Births: Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury (Bess of Hardwicke), builder of country mansions, 1518; Sir George Biddell Airy, Astronomer Royal, 1801; Alexandre Dumas fils, playwright, 1824; Sir Ernest Alfred Thompson Wallis Budge, orientalist and museum curator, 1857; Joseph Hilaire Pierre Belloc, poet and author, 1870; Anton Dolin (Patrick Healey-Kay), dancer and choreographer, 1904.

Deaths: St Joseph of Arimathea, 82; Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov, poet and novelist, 1841; Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie, Egyptologist, 1942; Gertrude Stein, novelist and poet, 1946; James Mason, actor, 1984; Sir Osbert Lancaster, artist and writer, 1986.

On this day: Cromwell defeated the Royalists at the Battle of Gainsborough, 1643; at the Battle of Killiecrankie, Viscount Dundee (Claverhouse) for the Highlanders, defeated the Whig general Mackay, 1689; the Bank of England was granted a 12-year charter by Act of Parliament, 1694; Adelaide, South Australia, was founded, 1836; Chartist riots broke out in Birmingham and other towns, 1839; a radio compass was used for the first time to direct navigation of aircraft, 1920; insulin was isolated in Canada by Sir Frederick Banting and Charles Best at the University of Toronto, 1921; the armistice between North Korea and the United Nations forces was signed, 1953; in the United States, a Judiciary Committee voted to impeach President Richard Nixon, 1974.

Today is the Feast Day of St Aurelia, Natalia and their Companions, St Pantaleon, the Martyrs of Salsette, the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus and St Theobald of Marly.