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Births: Grace Horsley Darling, heroine of the wreck of the Forfarshire, 1815; Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett, writer, 1849; Henri-Marie-Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec, painter, 1864; Scott Joplin, ragtime pianist and composer, 1868.

Deaths: John Knox, religious reformer, 1572; Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton, first Earl of Lytton ('Owen Meredith'), diplomat and poet, 1891; Robert Erskine Childers, Irish nationalist and writer, executed 1922; Georges Clemenceau, statesman, 1929; Freddie Mercury, rock singer, 1991.

On this day: the English Parliament decided that clergy were permitted to marry, 1548; Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) was discovered by Abel Tasman, 1642; a frost fair was held on the frozen river Thames, 1715; Darwin's Origin of Species was published, 1859; the meat market in London was opened at Smithfield, 1868; Lee Harvey Oswald was shot while in police custody by Jack Ruby, 1963.

Today is the Feast Day of St Chrysogonus, St Colman of Cloyne and Saints Flora and Mary.