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Births: Alexander the Great, 356 BC; Christian Benjamin Uber, lawyer and musical enthusiast, 1746; Sir Titus Salt MP, manufacturer and philanthropist, 1803; Friedrich Gauermann, painter, 1807; Charles Voss, pianist and composer, 1815; Sir James Dewar, chemist and physicist, inventor of the vacuum flask, 1842; Henry Arthur Jones, playwright, 1851; Sir George Robey (George Edward Wade), comedian, 1869; Upton Beall Sinclair, novelist, 1878; Ildebrando Pizzetti, composer, 1880; Charles Walter Stansby Williams, author and playwright, 1886; Kenneth More, actor, 1914.

Deaths: Robert Emmet, Irish nationalist, executed 1803; Utamaro Kitagawa, painter, 1806; Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy Bt, flag- captain to Horatio, Viscount Nelson, at the Battle of Trafalgar, 1839; Jakob Ludwig Karl Grimm, philologist and folklorist, 1863; Sir Titus Salt MP, manufacturer and philanthropist, 1876; Theodor Fontane, poet and novelist, 1898; Pablo Martin Meliton de Sarasate y Navascuez, violinist and composer, 1908; Annie Besant (Wood), 'Ajax', theosophist, 1933; Dr Andrew Claude De La Cherois Crommelin, astronomer, 1939; Sir Edward Denison Ross, Orientalist, 1940; Fiorello Henry La Guardia, mayor of New York, 1947; Jean Julius Christian Sibelius, composer, 1957; George Seferis, poet and diplomat, 1971.

On this day: Aetius, a Roman general, defeated the Huns under Attila at

Chalons-sur-Marne, 451; Richard I defeated the French at Gisors, 1198; Salisbury Cathedral was consecrated, 1258; Ferdinand Magellan and a fleet of five ships set off from Seville on a circumnavigation of the world, 1519; the Treaty of Hampton Court was signed between Queen Elizabeth I and Louis I de Bourbon, 1562; the Treaty of Ryswick was signed by France, England, Spain and Holland, 1697; the French defeated the Prussians at the Battle of Valmy, 1792; the Amateur Dramatic Company, consisting of Dickens, Forster, Jerrold, Leech and Lemon, appeared in Ben Jonson's Every Man in his Humour at Miss Kelly's Theatre, Dean Street, London, 1845; during the Crimean War, the Russian army was defeated by the Allied (Britain, France and Turkey) armies at the Battle of Alma, 1854; six Victoria Crosses were awarded for gallantry at the Battle of Alma, 1854; Delhi was recaptured from the Indian mutineers by the British, 1857; the liner Mauretania was launched, 1906; the Methodist Church of Great Britain and Ireland was established, 1932; the first London production of the musical comedy Once Upon a Mattress was presented, 1960; the liner Queen Elizabeth II was launched at Clydebank, 1966.

Today is the Feast Day of St Candida of Carthage, Saints Fausta and Evilasius, Saints Theodore, Philippa and their Companions and St Vincent Madelgarius.