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Births: Catharine Cockburn, playwright and philosopher, 1679; Sir Thomas Picton, general, 1758; Heinrich August Marschner, operatic composer, 1795; Moritz Wilhelm Drobisch, mathematician and philosopher, 1802; Arthur Cayley, mathematician, 1821; Johan Siegwald Dahl, painter, 1827; Jules Laforgue, poet and critic, 1860; Henri-Constant- Gabriel Pierne, conductor and composer, 1863; Dame Mary Gilmore, poet, 1865; Georgette Heyer, novelist, 1902; Wendell Meredith Stanley, biochemist, 1904.

Deaths: Thomas Fuller, preacher and biographer, 1661; Andrew Marvell, poet, 1678; Jacques Bernoulli, mathematician, 1705; Matthew Tindal, freethinking writer, 1733; Joe Miller, comedian, 1738; Catherine Phillips (Payton), Quaker missionary, 1794; Robert Wilhelm Bunsen, chemist and inventor, 1899; Jose Maria de Eca de Queiros, novelist, 1900; Umberto Boccioni, futurist sculptor, 1916; Sir Joseph Norman Lockyer, astronomer, 1920; John Coates, tenor, 1941; George Herman 'Babe' Ruth, baseball player, 1948; Margaret Munnerlyn Mitchell, novelist, author of Gone With the Wind, 1949; Selman Waksman, microbiologist and discoverer of streptomycin, 1973; Elvis Presley, rock singer, 1977.

On this day: Henry VIII and his army defeated the French at Guinegatte in the Battle of the Spurs, 1513; Prince Eugene defeated the Turks at Belgrade, 1717; the Jesuits were expelled from Rome, 1773; the American army defeated the British forces at the Battle of Bennington, 1777; the American army led by Horatio Gates was defeated by British forces led by Cornwallis at the Battle of Camden, New Jersey, 1780; during Napoleon's invasion of Russia, the Battle of Smolensk began, 1812; General Hull, of the US army holding Detroit, surrendered to the British, 1812; the Peterloo Massacre took place at St Peter's Field, Manchester, 1819; the trial of Queen Caroline for adultery began, 1820; the Republic of Bolivia was proclaimed, 1825; the Russians were repulsed by the Piedmontese, the British and the French at the Battle of Tchernaya during the Crimean War, 1855; Wagner's opera Siegfried was first performed, Bayreuth 1876; the Tate Gallery, London, was opened, 1897; the explorer William Beebe descended 3,028 feet (1,922 metres) in his bathysphere into the ocean near Bermuda, 1934; following heavy thunderstorms, flooding brought devastation to Lynton, Devonshire, 1952; Cyprus became an independent republic, 1960; after taking control of most of Northern Cyprus, Turkish forces called a cease-fire, 1974.

Today is the Feast Day of St Armel, St Arsacius and St Stephen of Hungary.