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Births: Sebastiano Serlio, architect, 1475; Marie-Joseph Paul-Yves Roch-Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, statesman and soldier, 1757; John Dalton, chemist and physicist, 1766; Vincent Novello, organist, composer and founder of the music publishers, 1781; Carl Ferdinand Pohl, writer and bibliographer, 1819; Sir Henry Walford Davies, organist and composer, 1869; John James Rickard Macleod, one of the discoverers of insulin, 1876; Leopold Hamilton Myers, novelist, 1881; Joseph Patrick Kennedy, financier and diplomat, 1888; Billy Rose (William Samuel Rosenberg), producer and lyricist, 1899; King Peter of Yugoslavia, 1923.

Deaths: Suleyman I (the Magnificent; the 'Lawgiver'), Sultan of Turkey, 1566; Jean-Baptiste Colbert, statesman, 1683; George Alexander Stevens, writer and humorist, 1784; Sir Joseph Archer Crowe, consular official and art critic, 1896; Arthur Rackham, illustrator, 1939; Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd, prime minister of South Africa, assassinated 1966.

On this day: Richard I defeated the Saracens at the Battle of Arsouf, 1191; Del Cano, commanding the Vittoria, Magellan's ship, completed the first circumnavigation of the world, 1522; the Pilgrim Fathers set sail in the Mayflower from Plymouth (6 September, Old Style; 16 September, New Style), 1620; the Great Fire of London came to an end, 1666; the first free lending library in Britain opened in Manchester, 1852; the first telephone exchange in Britain opened in Lombard Street, London, 1879; the first cricket test match in England was played at the Oval between England and Australia, 1880; TW Burgess swam the English Channel from South Foreland to Cape Gris Nez, 1911; in Romania, King Carol II abdicated in favour of his son Michael, 1940; Juliana became Queen of the Netherlands, 1948; in Turkey, a massive earthquake centred on Lice resulted in nearly 3,000 deaths, 1975; the Soviet ruling council recognised the independence of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, 1991.

Today is the Feast Day of St Cagnoald or Chainoaldus, Saints Donatian, Laetus and Others and St Eleutherius of Spoleto. Today is also the beginning of the Jewish New Year (AM 5755).


National Gallery: Alexander Sturgis, 'Dress and Undress (i): the Pollaiuolo brothers, The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian', 1pm.


Benenden School

Term starts today at Benenden School. Sixth Form Scholarship and Entry Examinations for September 1995 will take place on 16 and 17 November. Open mornings for parents of prospective students will be held on 17 September, 15 October, 19 November and 3 December.

King's School, Canterbury

The Autumn Term begins today at the King's School, Canterbury. Mr Peter Brodie becomes Housemaster of Galpin's House; Mrs Jean Watson, Housemistress of Walpole and Mr Roy White, Housemaster of Marlowe. An Open Day for prospective Sixth Form pupils will be held on Saturday 8 October. Half-term will be from 15-30 October. The Threepenny Opera by Bertolt Brecht will be performed in St Mary's Hall from 30 November to 4 December. There will be a Christmas Concert in the Shirley Hall on 11 December; the Carol Service will be in the Cathedral on 14 December and term ends on Thursday 15 December.