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Births: Sir Thomas Bodley, diplomat and bibliophile, 1545; George Sandys, poet and translator, 1578; Johann Veit, painter, 1790; Samuel Houston, Texan statesman, 1793; Pope Leo XIII, 1810; Bedrich Smetana, composer, 1824; Pope Pius XII (Eugenio Pacelli), 1876; Ivar Kreuger, industrialist and swindler, 1880; Marc Blitzstein, composer, 1905; Geoffrey Edward Harvey Grigson, poet and critic, 1905.

Deaths: John Wesley, founder of Methodism, 1791; Horace Walpole, fourth Earl of Orford, novelist and historian, 1797; Francis II, last Holy Roman Emperor, 1835; Nicholas I, Tsar of Russia, 1855; Hugh Gough, first Viscount, field marshal, 1869; Ismail Pasha, Khedive of Egypt, 1895; Queen Elizabeth of Romania (Carmen Silva, novelist), 1916; David Herbert Lawrence, novelist, 1930; Howard Carter, painter and Egyptologist, 1939; Lloyd Logan Pearsall Smith, essayist, 1946; Jose Martinez Ruiz ('Azorin'), author, 1967; Randolph Scott, actor, 1987; Joan Greenwood, actress, 1987.

On this day: the 'War of Oranges' started between Spain and Portugal, 1801; work began on the Thames Tunnel, 1825; an attempt was made by Robert Maclean to assassinate Queen Victoria at Windsor, 1882; the trial of Nikolai Bukharin and other political leaders began in the USSR, 1938; Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli was elected as Pope Pius XII, 1939; Captain James Gallagher and a crew of 13 USAF men completed the first round-the-world flight in 94 hours, 1949; Morocco once more became independent, 1956; the French prototype Concorde made its first test flight, 1969; terrorists murdered the US ambassador, his charge d'affaires and the Belgian charge d'affaires, at the Saudi Arabian embassy, Khartoum, Sudan, 1973.

Today is the Feast Day of St Chad or Caedda, St Joavan of Brittany and The Martyrs under the Lombards.