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Births: Ben Jonson, playwright, 1572; John Constable, painter, 1776; Hablot Knight Browne ('Phiz'), artist and illustrator, 1815; Gustav Pressel, composer, 1827; Mariano Jose Maria Bernardo Fortuny, painter, 1838; Dame Millicent Garrett Fawcett, women's rights campaigner, 1847; Mrs Humphry Ward (Mary Augusta Arnold), novelist, 1851; Richard Strauss, composer, 1864; Nikolai Alexandrovich Bulganin, Russian leader, 1895.

Deaths: James III, King of Scotland, assassinated 1488; Sir Kenelm Digby, diplomat and writer, 1665; Sir James Brooke, raja of Sarawak, 1868; Franklin Henry Giddings, sociologist, 1931; Stephen Lucius Gwynn, novelist, poet and MP, 1950; Sir Frank (Francois Guillaume) Brangwyn, artist, 1956; John Llewellyn Lewis, labour leader, 1969; Alexander Feodorevich Kerensky, Russian social democratic leader, 1970; John Wayne (Marion Michael Morrison), actor, 1979.

On this day: King Henry VIII was married to Catherine of Aragon, 1509; the Covenanters were victorious at the Battle of Drumclog, 1679; James, Duke of Monmouth, landed at Lyme Regis, Dorset, to seize the British throne, 1685; George II was proclaimed King of Great Britain, 1727; at the 24-hour motor race at Le Mans, France, 82 spectators were killed when a car skidded off the track and exploded, 1955; the first oil from the British North Sea oilfields was pumped ashore, 1975.

Today is the Feast Day of St Barnabas the Apostle, Saints Felix and Fortunatus, St Parisius and St Paula Frasinetti.