Births: Sir Thomas Browne, writer and physician, 1605; Robert Pollok, poet, 1798; Louis Lee, cellist and composer, 1819; Alfred Dreyfus, French army officer, 1859; Auguste-Marie- Louis-Nicolas Lumiere, photographic pioneer, 1862.

Deaths: John Lackland, King of England, 1216; Jacobus Arminius (Jakob Hermansen), theologian, 1609; Samuel Dirksz van Hoogstraten, painter, 1678; Jonathan Swift, author, 1745; George Mortimer Pullman, sleeping-car manufacturer, 1897; Edna St Vincent Millay, poet, 1950; Jacqueline du Pre, cellist, 1987.

On this day: the American War of Independence ended when Lord Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington at Yorktown, 1781; with the end of the Battle of the Nations at Leipzig, the Allies defeated Napoleon, 1813; Wagner's opera Tannhauser was first performed, Dresden 1845; United States troops were landed at Cape Haitien, Haiti, to maintain order, 1914; the People's Republic of China was proclaimed, 1949.

Today is the Feast Day of St Aquilinus of Evreux, St Charles Garnier, St Cleopatra, St Ethbin, St Frideswide, St Gabriel Lalemant, Saints Jean Brebeuf and Isaac Jogues, St John of Lalande, St Noel Chabanel, St Paul of the Cross, St Peter of Alcantara, St Philip Howard, Saints Ptolemaeus and Lucius St Rene Goupil and St Varus.

Gray's Inn

The following have been elected Masters of the Bench of Gray's Inn:

Mr James Evans; Mr Michael Charles Flesch QC; The Hon Dame Heather Steel; Judge Rhys Davies QC; Sir Michael Harrison; Mr Daniel Joseph Brennan QC; Mr Michael John Burton QC; Miss Marion Adele Simmons.