Births: John Dee, scholar, mathematician and astrologer, 1527; John Clare, peasant poet and farm labourer, 1793; Marshal Marie-Edme-Maurice-Patrice MacMahon, French soldier and President, 1808; Sir George Gilbert Scott, architect, 1811; Dr Charles William Corfe, organist, 1814; Gustav Freytag, author, 1816; Carl Armbruster, conductor and pianist, 1846; Eugen Huber, jurist and writer, 1849; Sidney James Webb, first Lord Passfield, social reformer, 1859; Kenneth MacKenzie Clark, Lord Clark, art historian, 1903.

Deaths: Bertrand du Guesclin, Constable of France, 1380; Richard Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, 1712; James Bradley, astronomer, 1762; Jean-Paul Marat, French revolutionary leader, murdered 1793; Alfred Marshall, economist, 1924; Walter Donaldson, composer, 1947; Arnold Schoenberg, composer, 1951; Oliver Hilary Sambourne Messel, designer, 1978; Sir Seretse Khama, president of Botswana, 1980.

On this day: Christ Church, Oxford, was founded as Cardinal College by Cardinal Wolsey, 1525; Charlotte Corday murdered Jean-Paul Marat in his bath, 1793; Wordsworth wrote his 'Lines' composed 'Above Tintern Abbey', 1798; Queen Victoria went to live in Buckingham Palace, 1837; the Scottish Reform Act was passed, 1868; the Treaty of Berlin was signed, granting Bosnia and Herzegovina to Austria, 1878; the independence of Romania from Turkey was proclaimed, 1878; the British Bombardment of Alexandria ended, 1882; the airship R34 landed in Norfolk after returning from the US, 1919; France II (5,806 tons), the world's largest sailing vessel, was wrecked off the coast of New Caledonia, 1922; in Germany, all political parties but the Nazis were banned, 1933; Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be executed in Britain, hanged 1955.

Today is the Feast Day of Saints Bridget and Maura, St Eugenius of Carthage, St Francis Solano, St Henry the Emperor, St Mildred, St Silas or Silvanus.