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Births: James Gibbs, architect, 1682; Frans van Mieris the Younger, painter, 1689; Johann Heinrich Rolle, organist and composer, 1718; Frederick Augustus I, King of Saxony, 1750; Alexander I, Tsar of Russia, 1777; Jean-Francois Champollion, Egyptologist and decipherer of the Rosetta Stone, 1790; Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve, writer and critic, 1804; Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormons (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), 1805; Karl Richard Lepsius, Egyptologist, 1810; Samuel Smiles, author, 1812; 'Lord' George Sanger, circus proprietor, 1827; Sir Hugh Percy Allen, organist, 1869; Joseph Arthur, first Baron Rank, miller and film magnate, 1888.

Deaths: Henri I de Lorraine, third Duc de Guise, assassinated 1588; William Davison, Scottish Secretary of State to Queen Elizabeth I, 1608; Michael Drayton, poet, 1631; John Cotton, puritan leader in America, 1652; Alastair Ruadh Macdonnell, Jacobite spy 'Pickle', 1761; John Downman, portrait painter, 1824; Thomas Robert Malthus, economist, 1834; Dr James Cowles Prichard, ethnologist, 1848; Hugh Miller, geologist, 1856; Sir Charles Lock Eastlake, painter, 1865; Abraham Cooper, painter, 1868; George Catlin, artist and author, 1872; Laurence Oliphant, journalist and traveller, 1888; Jean-Baptiste-Edouard Detaille, painter, 1912; Thomas William Hodgson Crosland, journalist, 1924; Anthony Herman Gerard Fokker, aircraft designer, 1939; Charles Dana Gibson, artist and illustrator, 1944; Hideki Tojo, former prime minister of Japan, hanged 1948; Eric Coates, composer, 1957; Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, first Earl of Halifax, Viceroy of India, 1959; Andrei Nikolayevich Tupolev, aircraft designer, 1972; Ernst Krenek, composer, 1991.

On this day: HMS Bounty, commanded by William Bligh, sailed from Spithead for the South Seas, 1787; Asiatic cholera first appeared in Scotland, 1831; Joseph Hansom patented a type of cab, 1834; over 60 vessels were lost in the North Atlantic during heavy storms, 1890; the Aldwych Theatre, London, opened, 1905; Albert I ascended the throne of Belgium, 1909; Wolf-Ferrari's opera The Jewels of the Madonna was first produced, Berlin, 1911; a bomb was thrown at Lord Hardinge, Viceroy of India, as he entered the new capital at Delhi, 1912; the Federal Reserve Bank was founded in the United States, 1913; in Germany, Marinus Van der Lubbe, a Dutchman, was found guilty of setting fire to the Reichstag and sentenced to death, 1933; in the Soviet Union, Lavrenty Beria and six others were executed for treason, 1953; Rene-Jules-Gustave Coty was elected president of France, 1953; 117 people died when the cruise liner Lakonia burned in the Atlantic, 919 people were saved, 1963; Managua, capital of Nicaragua, was destroyed by an earthquake, with a loss of 12,000 lives, 1972.

Today is the Feast Day of St Dagobert II of Austrasia, St Frithebert, St John of Kanti, St Servulus, the Ten Martyrs of Crete, St Thorlac and Saints Victoria and Anatolia.