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Births: Armand-Jean-du Plessis de Richelieu, Cardinal and statesman, 1585; Luigi Galvani, physicist, 1737; William Bligh, captain of the Bounty, 1754; Alexander Nasmyth, painter, 1758; Zechariah Buck, organist and composer, 1798; Gaetano Milanesi, scholar and writer on art, 1813; Karl Kleeman, conductor and composer, 1842; Jane Ellen Harrison, scholar and archaeologist, 1850; Houston Stewart Chamberlain, renegade writer, 1855; Ralph Hodgson, poet, 1871; Max Reinhardt (Goldmann), theatre director, 1873; James Evershed Agate, theatre critic, 1877; Cesare Pavese, poet and novelist, 1908.

Deaths: William I, King (the Conqueror), 1087; James IV, King of Scotland, killed in battle at Flodden 1513; Sir Humphrey Gilbert, explorer, drowned off the Azores 1583; Tobias George Smollett, physician and author, 1771; Giambattista Piranesi, architect, painter and engraver, 1778; John Singleton Copley, historical painter, 1815; Shaka, King of the Zulus, assassinated 1828; Otto Jahn, philologist and archaeologist, 1869; William Theed the Younger, sculptor, 1891; Stephane Mallarme, poet, 1898; Henri- Marie-Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec- Monfa, painter, 1901; Roger Eliot Fry, artist, 1934; Mao Tse-tung, Chinese leader, 1976; Hugh MacDiarmid, poet and critic, 1978.

On this day: the English defeated the Scots at the Battle of Flodden Field, 1513; the Squirrel frigate was lost off the Azores, with the loss of all on board, 1583; local government in Britain was constituted under the British Municipal Corporations Act, 1835; California became the 31st of the United States, 1850; the first regular airmail service was started from Hendon to Windsor, 1911; the operetta Frederica by Franz Lehar had its first London production, 1930; General Douglas MacArthur took over supervision of Japan, 1945; North Korea was proclaimed a separate independent state, 1948; the first hijack of a British aircraft took place near Beirut, 1970.

Today is the Feast Day of St Bettelin, St Ciaran or Kieran of Clonmacnois, St Gorgonius, St Isaac or Sahak the Great, St Joseph of Volokolamsk, St Omer or Audomarus and St Peter Claver.