Births: Sir Robert Walpole, Earl of Orford, statesman, 1676; Johann Heinrich Lambert, mathematician, 1728; Joseph-Michel Montgolfier, balloonist, 1740; Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, chemist, 1743; Aloys Schmitt, pianist, teacher and composer, 1788; Joseph Christoph Kessler (Kotzler), pianist and composer, 1800; Prince Albert, Consort to Queen Victoria, 1819; Stephen Joseph Perry, astronomer and Jesuit, 1833; John William Mackail OM, scholar, 1859; Lee De Forest, radio and television inventor, 1873; Sir John Buchan, first Baron Tweedsmuir, Governor-General of Canada and novelist, 1875; Guillaume Apollinaire (Wilhelm Apollinaris de Kostrowitsky), poet, 1880; Jules Romains (Louis- Henri-Jean Farigoule), novelist, playwright and poet, 1885; Christopher William Bradshaw Isherwood, novelist, 1904.

Deaths: Ottakar II, King of Bohemia, killed in battle 1278; Frans Hals, painter, 1666; Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, naturalist and microscopist, 1723; Elizabeth Chudleigh, Countess of Bristol and Duchess of Kingston, concubine and alleged bigamist, 1788; Count Alessandro de Cagliostro (Giuseppe Balsamo), impostor, 1795; Thomas Cooke, miser, 1811; Louis-Philippe, 'Citizen King' of France, 1850; Hermann Goldschmidt, painter and astronomer, 1866; Baron Hendrik Leys, painter, 1869; Karl Wilhelm, choral director and composer of Die Wacht am Rhein, 1873; George Manville Fenn, novelist, 1909; William James, psychologist and philosopher, 1910; Matthias Erzberger, finance minister, assassinated 1921; Lon (Alonso) Chaney, actor, 1930; Frank (James Thomas) Harris, editor and author, 1931; Ralph Vaughan Williams, composer, 1958; Naomi Ellington Jacob, novelist, 1964; Sir Francis Charles Chichester, aviator and yachtsman, 1972; Charles Augustus Lindbergh, pioneer aviator, 1974.

On this day: Julius Caesar landed in Britain, 55 BC; King Edward III, aided by the Black Prince, his son, defeated the French at the Battle of Crecy, 1346; Frederick the Great repelled the Russian invading army at the indecisive Battle of Zorndorf, 1758; General Blucher routed the French army at the Battle of Katzbach, 1813; the railway from Paris to St Germains (the first in France) was opened, 1837; Mendelssohn's oratorio Elijah was first performed, Birmingham Festival, 1846; Krakatoa began erupting, killing over 36,000 people, 1883; the Battle of Tannenberg began when the Russians were opposed by German forces, 1914; under the 19th Amendment, women in the US were granted the right to vote, 1920; the Anglo- Egyptian alliance was signed, 1936; the 20th Olympic Games opened in Munich, 1972.

Today is the Feast Day of St Bregwine, archbishop of Canterbury, St Elizabeth Bichier des Ages, St Herluin, St John Wall, St Mary Desmaisieres, St Pandonia and St Teresa Jornet Ihars.