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Births: Countess of Shrewsbury (Bess of Hardwicke), builder of country houses, 1518; Jean Bernoulli, mathematician, 1667; Mauro Giuliani, composer, 1781; Andre-Georges-Louis Onslow, composer, 1784; Sir George Biddell Airy, Astronomer Royal, 1801; Alexandre Dumas fils, playwright, 1824; Giosue Carducci, poet, 1835; Sir Ernest Alfred Thompson Wallis Budge, orientalist and museum curator, 1857; Ernst von Dohnanyi, composer, 1877; Joseph Hilaire Pierre Belloc, poet and author, 1870; Anton Dolin (Patrick Healey-Kay), dancer and choreographer, 1904.

Deaths: Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne, Vicomte de Turenne, Marshal-General of France, 1675; Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertuis, astronomer and mathematician, 1759; Gilbert Charles Stuart, painter, 1828; Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov, poet and novelist, 1841; Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie, Egyptologist, 1942; Gertrude Stein, novelist and poet, 1946; Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, prime minister and dictator, 1970; Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, 1980; James Mason, actor, 1984; Sir Osbert Lancaster, artist and writer, 1986.

On this day: Cromwell defeated the Royalists at the Battle of Gainsborough, 1643; the Bank of England was granted a 12-year charter by Act of Parliament, 1694; revolution broke out in Paris, opposing the laws of Charles X, 1830; Chartist riots broke out in Birmingham and other towns, 1839; the Atlantic telegraph cable, laid by the Great Eastern, was completed, 1866; Capt Charles Fryatt, British seaman, was executed by the Germans for attempting to use his ship, the SS Brussels to ram a German submarine, 1916; a radio compass was used for the first time to direct navigation of aircraft, 1920; insulin was isolated in Canada by Sir Frederick Banting and Charles Best at the University of Toronto, 1921; the De Havilland Comet - the first jet-propelled airliner - flew for the first time, 1949; the armistice between North Korea and the United Nations forces was signed, 1953; in the US, a Judiciary Committee voted to impeach President Nixon, 1974.

Today is the Feast Day of St Aurelia, Natalia and their Companions, St Pantaleon, The Martyrs of Salsette, The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus and St Theobald of Marly.