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Births: Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, 1396; Wenzel Hollar, etcher, 1607; (Frances) Fanny Burney (Madame D'Arblay), novelist and diarist, 1752; Nicolas Dalayrac (d'Alayrac), operetta composer, 1753; Anton Eberl, composer and pianist, 1765; Thomas Young, linguist and physicist, translator of the demotic inscriptions of the Rosetta Stone, 1773; Dr Thomas Arnold, Head of Rugby School, 1795; Edward Francis Rimbault, musical historian, 1816; James Clerk Maxwell, physicist, 1831; Catherine ('Skittles') Walters, courtesan, 1839; Sir Charles Algernon Parsons, inventor of the steam turbine, 1854; William Butler Yeats, poet, 1865; Jules Bordet, bacteriologist, 1870; Elisabeth Schumann, operatic soprano, 1885; Basil Rathbone (Philip St John Basil Rathbone), actor, 1892; Dorothy Leigh Sayers, thriller writer and playwright, 1893; Carlos Antonio de Padua Chavez, Mexican conductor and composer, 1899.

Deaths: Alexander the Great, 323 BC; Simon Tissot, physician, 1797; Helena Selina, Lady Dufferin, songwriter, 1867; Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin, anarchist, 1876; Ludwig II (Otto Friedrich Wilhelm II), King of Bavaria, committed suicide by drowning 1886; Sir Henry (O'Neal de Hane) Segrave, racing driver, killed 1930; Charles Butterworth, actor, 1946; Gaston-Pierre-Etienne Flandin, statesman, 1958; Sir Eugene Aynesley Goossens, conductor and composer, 1962; Martin Buber, philosopher, 1965; Georg von Bekesy, physiologist, 1972; King Khalid of Saudi Arabia, 1982; Benjamin David (Benny) Goodman, clarinettist and bandleader, 1986.

On this day: Peter the Great of Russia concluded a peace with Turkey, 1700; Queen Victoria made her first railway journey (from Slough to Paddington in 23 minutes), 1842; in China, the Boxer Rebellion started when rebels besieged foreign legations, 1900; in Paris, the ballet Petrushka, by Igor Stravinsky, was performed for the first time, 1911; 162 people were killed and 432 injured in a German daylight air-raid on London, 1917; the first V-1 flying-bombs fell on London, 1944; following the end of the monarchy in Italy, King Umberto II left the country for Spain, 1946; the last British troops left the base of Suez, 1956; Mrs Geraldine Brodrick, of Sydney, Australia, gave birth to nonuplets (nine children, of whom two boys and four girls survived), 1971; inflation in Britain reached 25 per cent, 1975; six shots from a blank cartridge pistol were fired at the Queen in the Mall by a 17-year- old youth, 1981; John Paul Getty Jr presented pounds 20m to the National Gallery to start an endowment fund, 1985; the Queen bestowed the title Princess Royal on Princess Anne, 1987.

Today is the Feast Day of St Antony of Padua, St Aquilina, St Felicula and St Triphyllius.