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Births: James IV, King of Scotland, 1473; Edmund Kean, actor, 1789; Gottlieb Daimler, automobile pioneer, 1834; John Pettie, painter, 1839; Kate Greenaway, children's book illustrator, 1846; Margaret Grace Bondfield, first woman cabinet minister, 1873; Nat 'King' Cole (Nathaniel Adams Coles), singer and pianist, 1919; Rudolf Hametovich Nureyev, ballet dancer, 1938.

Deaths: Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor, 180; Harold Harefoot, King of England, 1040; Christian Johann Doppler, physicist, 1853; Sir John Bagot Glubb (Glubb Pasha), commander of the Arab Legion, 1986.

On this day: the Duchy of Cornwall was created, 1337; Oliver Cromwell declared England a Commonwealth, 1649; Captain Lawrence Oates, with Scott's expedition, walked out into the Antarctic wastes, never to return, 1912; Marie Stopes opened her first birth control clinic in London, 1921.

Today is St Patrick's Day and the Feast Day of the Martyrs of the Serapeum, St Gertrude of Nivelles, St Joseph of Arimathea and St Paul of Cyprus.