Births: Sir Richard Fanshawe, diplomat, translator and poet, baptised 1608; Harriet Martineau, novelist and historian, 1802; John Augustus Roebling, engineer, 1806; Charles Kingsley, novelist, 1819; Rikard Nordraak, composer and folksong collector, 1842; Robert Anthony Eden, first Earl of Avon, statesman, 1897; Anne Frank, diarist, 1929.

Deaths: William Collins, poet, 1759; Thomas Arnold, educationist, 1842; Sydney Howard, comedian, 1946; John Nicholson Ireland, composer, 1962; Sir Herbert Read, poet and critic, 1968; Edmund Wilson, novelist, playwright and poet, 1972; Dame Marie Rambert (Cyvia Rambam), ballet producer, director and teacher, 1982.

On this day: Magdalen College, Oxford, was founded, 1458; the library of John Cotton was presented to the nation (it now forms part of the British Library), 1700; the Act of Settlement was passed, 1701; the first electric telegraph was patented by Sir William Cooke and Sir Charles Wheatstone, 1837; the Rotherhithe-Stepney Tunnel beneath the Thames was opened, 1908; in Greece, King Constantine abdicated in favour of his second son, Alexander, 1917; the London production of the musical show Hold Everything] opened, 1929; the Beatles were each appointed MBE in the Birthday Honours, 1965; Boris Yeltsin was elected president of the Russian Republic, 1991.

Today: is the Feast Day of St Eskill, St John of Sahagun, St Leo III, pope, St Odulphus, St Onuphrius and St Ternan.


Births: Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, 1396; Wenzel Hollar, etcher, 1607; (Frances) Fanny Burney (Madame D'Arblay), novelist and diarist, 1752; Thomas Young, linguist and physicist, translator of the demotic inscriptions of the Rosetta Stone, 1773; Dr Thomas Arnold, Head of Rugby School, 1795; Edward Francis Rimbault, musical historian, 1816; James Clerk Maxwell, physicist, 1831; Charles Algernon Parsons, inventor of the steam turbine, 1854; William Butler Yeats, poet, 1865; Jules Bordet, bacteriologist, 1870; Elisabeth Schumann, operatic soprano, 1885; Basil Rathbone, actor, 1892; Dorothy Leigh Sayers, writer, 1893; Carlos Antonio de Padua Chavez, conductor and composer, 1899.

Deaths: Alexander the Great, 323 BC; Simon Tissot, Swiss physician, 1797; Richard Lovell Edgeworth, educationist and inventor, 1817; Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin, anarchist, 1876; Ludwig II (Otto Friedrich Wilhelm II), King of Bavaria, committed suicide by drowning 1886; Sir Henry (O'Neal de Hane) Segrave, racing motorist, killed 1930; Gaston-Pierre-Etienne Flandin, statesman, 1958; Sir Eugene Aynesley Goossens, conductor and composer, 1962; Martin Buber, philosopher, 1965; Georg von Bekesy, physiologist, 1972; King Khalid of Saudi Arabia, 1982; Benjamin David (Benny) Goodman, clarinettist and bandleader, 1986.

On this day: the Boxer Rebellion started in China when rebels besieged foreign legations, 1900; the first V-1 flying-bombs fell on London, 1944; the last British troops left the base of Suez, 1956; Mrs Geraldine Brodrick of Sydney, Australia, gave birth to nonuplets (nine children, of whom two boys and four girls survived), 1971; inflation in Britain reached 25 per cent, 1975; six shots from a blank cartridge pistol were fired at the Queen in the Mall by a 17-year-old youth, 1981; John Paul Getty II presented pounds 20m to the National Gallery to start an endowment fund, 1985; the Queen bestowed the title 'Princess Royal' on Princess Anne, 1987.

Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Antony of Padua, St Aquilina, St Felicula and St Triphyllius.