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Births: William Dampier, buccaneer and navigator, baptised 1652; John Smeaton, civil engineer, 1724; Robert Stevenson, civil engineer, 1772; Robert Alexander Schumann, composer, 1810; Charles Reade, novelist, 1814; Sir John Everett Millais, pre-Raphaelite painter, 1829; Mary Cholmondeley, novelist, 1859; Frank Lloyd Wright, architect, 1869; Alexis Smith (Gladys Smith), actress, 1921.

Deaths: the Prophet Mohammed, 632; Hardicanute, King of Denmark and England, 1042; Edward, the Black Prince, 1376; Johann Joachim Winckelmann, historian and archaeologist, 1768; Thomas Paine, radical author, 1809; Douglas William Jerrold, playwright and humorist, 1857; Sir Joseph Paxton, architect, 1865; Gerard Manley Hopkins, poet, 1889; Katharine Cornell, actress, 1974; Sir Norman Hartnell, royal dressmaker, 1979.

On this day: the Brooklyn Hall Super-Extra Gazette newspaper was first issued, New York City 1782; the electric suction vacuum-cleaner was patented, 1869; during the Italian-Turkish War in Tripoli, the first motor-ambulances were used, 1912; the second Labour government, with Ramsay MacDonald as Prime Minister, took office, 1929; King Carol resumed the throne in Romania, 1930; James Earl Ray was arrested in London and charged with the murder of Martin Luther King, 1968.

Today is the Feast Day of St Cloud of Metz, St Maximinus of Aix, St Medard and

St William of York or Thwayt