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Births: Ben Jonson, playwright, 1572; George Withers, poet and pamphleteer, 1588; John Constable, painter, 1776; Gustav Pressel, composer, 1827; Carl von Linde, chemist and engineer, 1842; Dame Millicent Garrett Fawcett, women's rights campaigner, 1847; Richard Strauss, composer, 1864; Kawabata Yasunari, novelist, 1899.

Deaths: James III, King of Scotland, assassinated 1488; Sir John Franklin, explorer, 1847; Sir James Brooke, raja of Sarawak, 1868; Otto Eckmann, painter, 1902; King Alexander and Queen Draga of Serbia, assassinated in Belgrade 1903; Franklin Henry Giddings, sociologist, 1931; John Llewellyn Lewis, labour leader, 1969; Alexander Feodorevich Kerensky, Russian social democratic leader, 1970; John Wayne (Marion Michael Morrison), actor, 1979.

On this day: King Henry VIII was married to Catherine of Aragon, 1509; Michiel de Ruyter, naval commander, defeated the English Admiral George Monck, 1666; the Covenanters were victorious at the Battle of Drumclog against the Royal troops under Claverhouse, 1679; James, Duke of Monmouth, landed at Lyme Regis, Dorset, to seize the British throne, 1685; the Evening Standard newspaper was first published, 1860; the Norwegian parliament granted universal suffrage to women, 1913; the liner Empress of Britain was launched at Clydebank, 1930; the Disarmament Conference at Geneva ended in failure, 1934; the first oil from the British North Sea oilfields was pumped ashore, 1975; the London production of the musical Barnum opened, 1981.

Today is the Queen's Official Birthday and the Feast Day of St Barnabas the Apostle, Saints Felix and Fortunatus, St Parisius and St Paula Frasinetti.


Births: Charles Kingsley, novelist, 1819; Robert Anthony Eden, first Earl of Avon, statesman, 1897; Anne Frank, diarist, 1929.

Deaths: William Collins, poet, 1759; Dr Thomas Arnold, educationist, 1842; Sir Herbert Read, poet and critic, 1968; Dame Marie Rambert (Cyvia Rambam), ballet producer, director and teacher, 1982.

On this day: the Library of John Cotton was presented to the nation and now forms part of the British Library, 1700; the Act of Settlement was passed, 1701; the first electric telegraph was patented by Sir William Cooke and Sir Charles Wheatstone, 1837; the Rotherhithe-Stepney Tunnel beneath the Thames was opened, 1908; the Beatles were appointed MBE in the Birthday Honours, 1965; Boris Yeltsin was elected President of the Russian Republic, 1991.

Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Eskill, St John of Sahagun, St Leo III, pope, St Odulphus, St Onuphrius and St Ternan.