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Births: John Passmore Edwards, newspaper proprietor and philanthropist, 1823; William Morris, socialist, artist, poet and typographer, 1834; Olive Emilie Albertina Schreiner (Ralph Iron), author, 1855; Ub Iwerks, film animator, co- creator with Disney of 'Mickey Mouse', 1901; Christopher Vernon Hassall, author, actor and poet, 1912; Terrence Steven (Steve) McQueen, actor, 1930.

Deaths: Queen Elizabeth I, 1603; Jacques Callot, painter and engraver, 1635; Samuel Scheidt, composer, 1654; Philip Dormer Stanhope, fourth Earl of Chesterfield, author and statesman, 1773; John Harrison, horologist and inventor of the marine chronometer, 1776; Walter Bagehot, political economist, 1877; Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, poet, 1882; Charlotte Mary Yonge, author, 1901; Sir Edwin Arnold, scholar and poet, 1904; Jules Verne, novelist, 1905; John Millington Synge, playwright, 1909; Enrique Granados y Campina, composer, killed in the Sussex action 1916; Mrs Humphry Ward (Mary Augusta Arnold), novelist, 1920; Charlotte Mary Mew, poet, 1928; General Orde Charles Wingate, killed in an air crash 1944; Harold Joseph Laski, politician and economist, 1950; Queen Mary, wife of King George V, 1953; Auguste Piccard, deep-sea explorer and balloonist, 1962; Cristobal Balenciaga, couturier, 1972; Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, first Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, 1976; Ernest Howard Shepard, artist and illustrator ('Winnie the Pooh'), 1976; Sam Jaffe, film character actor, 1984.

On this day: after King James (James I of England, James VI of Scotland), ascended the throne of England, the English and Scottish crowns were united, 1603; Cipriani Potter, later first principal of the Royal Academy of Music, gave the first music lesson, 1823; Texas was thrown open to colonisation, 1825; the University Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge ended in a dead heat, 1877; 50 people died when the British cross-Channel steamer Sussex was torpedoed by a German submarine near Dieppe, 1916; a Royal Commission on decimal coinage reported against changing the existing system, 1920; an act passed in the US declared that from 1945, the Philippines would be independent, 1934; the national loaf was introduced into Britain, 1942; the unique British Guiana one-cent black-on-magenta postage stamp was sold for pounds 116,600, 1970; it was announced that direct rule would be imposed on Northern Ireland, 1972; President Isabel Peron of Argentina was deposed after a bloodless military coup, 1976.

Today is the Feast Day of St Aldemar, St Catharine of Vadstena, St Irenaeus of Sirmium, St Simon of Trent and St William of Norwich.