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Births: Anthony Ashley Cooper, third Earl of Shaftesbury, philosopher and writer, 1671; Victor-Marie Hugo, author, 1802; Alexis Hollander, pianist and conductor, 1840; Evelyn Baring, first Earl of Cromer, statesman and diplomat, 1841; William Frederick Cody ('Buffalo Bill'), showman, 1846; Leonard Borwick, pianist, 1868; Frank Bridge, conductor and composer, 1879; Margaret Leighton, actress, 1922.

Deaths: Roger II, King of Sicily, 1154; Manfred, King of Naples and Sicily, died in battle 1266; Thomas d'Urfey, satirist, 1723; Frederick Tennyson, poet, 1898; Richard Jordan Gatling, inventor of the Gatling gun, 1903; Caran d'Ache (Emmanuel Poire), illustrator, 1909; August Wolf, painter, 1915; Anne Isabella (Thackeray), Lady Ritchie, author, 1919; Sir Harry Lauder (MacLennan), comedian, 1950; Sir Patrick Gardiner Hastings, lawyer and politician, 1952; Karl Jaspers, philosopher, 1969; Levi Eshkol, Israeli prime minister, 1969; Fernandel (Fernand Contandin), actor and comedian, 1971.

On this day: the Bank of England issued the first one-pound note, 1797; Napoleon Buonaparte escaped from Elba, 1815; Russia annexed Poland, 1832; the Grand National steeplechase was first run, Aintree 1839; the Second French Republic was proclaimed, 1848; 485 people died when the troopship Birkenhead sank off Simon's Bay, South Africa, 1852; a strike of coal-miners took place in Britain, 1912; 930 people died when the French transport ship Provence II was sunk in the Mediterranean, 1916; Winston Churchill announced that Britain had produced its own atomic bomb, 1952.

Today is the Feast Day of St Alexander of Alexandria, St Nestor of Magydus, St Porphyry of Gaza and St Victor or Vittre the Hermit.