Births: Jeanne-Antoinette, Marquise de Pompadour, mistress of Louis XV, 1721; Charles Macintosh, chemist and inventor of waterproof clothing, 1766; Charles Goodyear, inventor of vulcanised rubber, 1800; William Ewart Gladstone, statesman, 1809; Pablo Casals, cellist, 1876; Vera Mary Brittain, author, pacifist and feminist, 1893.

Deaths: St Thomas a Becket, murdered 1170; Jacques-Louis David, painter, 1825; Christina Georgina Rossetti, poet, 1894; Rainer Maria Rilke, poet, 1926; Donald Robert Perry Marquis, journalist and humorist, 1937; the Earl of Stockton (Harold Macmillan), statesman, 1986.

On this day: the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, London, opened, 1720; Texas became the 28th of the United States, 1845; Radio Luxembourg started operating, 1930; the magazine Life ceased publication, 1972; an Italian bulk-carrier, the Marine di Equa, sank in heavy seas off Land's End, with the loss of 30 lives, 1981.

Today is the Feast Day of St Ebrulf or Evroult, St Marcellus Akimetes, St Thomas of Canterbury and St Trophimus of Arles.