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Births: Jean-Baptiste Colbert, statesman and founder of the French Navy, 1619; John Locke, philosopher, 1632; Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, painter, 1780; Richard Rush, lawyer and statesman, 1780; Oliver Wendell Holmes, physician and writer, 1809; John Leech, caricaturist and illustrator, 1817; Maurice- Polydore-Marie-Bernard Maeterlinck, poet and playwright, 1862; Richard Gardner Casey, First Baron, statesman, 1890; Jack (Weldon Leo) Teagarden, jazz musician, vocalist and bandleader, 1905; Ingrid Bergman, actress, 1915.

Deaths: John Fletcher, playwright, 1625; John Lilburne, pamphleteer and reformer, leader of the 'Levellers', 1657; Louis Couperin, composer, 1661; Edmond Hoyle, writer on card-playing, 1769; Joseph Wright (of Derby), painter, 1797; Pope Pius VI, 1799; William Simson, painter, 1847; Sir Charles James Napier, soldier and statesman, 1853; Felicien-Cesar David, composer, 1876; Brigham Young, Mormon leader, 1877; Arthur Melville, painter, 1904; The Rev William Archibald Spooner, perpetrator of 'Spoonerisms', 1930; Sir Philip Magnus Bt, educationist and mathematician, 1933; Astrid, Queen Consort of the Belgians, in a road accident, 1935; Boris III, Tsar of Bulgaria, 1943; Cesare Pavese, novelist and translator, 1950; Vicki (Hedwig) Baum, novelist, 1960; Hazza El-Majali, prime minister of Jordan, assassinated, 1960; Eamon de Valera, statesman, 1975; Ingrid Bergman, actress, 1982; Lee Marvin, actor, 1987.

On this day: the Spanish fleet was defeated by Edward III at Winchelsea, 1350; the Turks defeated the Hungarians at the Battle of Mohacs, 1526; Michael Faraday discovered the induction of electric currents, 1831; the Factory Act, regulating the employment of children, was passed, 1833; the city of Melbourne, Australia, was founded, 1835; the Treaty of Nanking was signed, ending the Anglo-Chinese war, and agreeing the lease of the Hong Kong territories to Britain, 1842; the British army defeated the Boers at Boomplatz, 1848; the Sporting Times published an 'obituary' for English cricket, and first mentioned 'the Ashes', 1882; the Rugby League (originally 'Northern Union'), was formed from 21 clubs in the North of England, 1895; the third Olympic Games opened at St Louis, Missouri, US, 1904; the Graf Zeppelin airship completed its tour of the world, 1929; Simeon II became Tsar of Bulgaria under a Council of Regency, 1943; the USSR exploded a hydrogen bomb, 1953.

Today is the Feast Day of St Edwold of Cerne, St Medericus or Merry, St Sabina of Rome and the Beheading of John the Baptist.


Births: Pedro the Cruel, King of Castile and Leon, 1334; Jacques- Louis David, painter, 1748; Bonifacio Asioli, composer and writer on music, 1769; Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, novelist and creator of Frankenstein's monster, 1797; Joseph Mallaby Dent, publisher, 1849; Ernest, First Baron Rutherford of Nelson, physicist, 1871; Raymond Massey, actor, 1896; John Gunther, author and journalist, 1901; Fred MacMurray, film actor, 1908; Joan Blondell, actress, 1909.

Deaths: Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, committed suicide, 30 BC; Theodoric the Great, king of the Ostrogoths in Italy, 526; Louis XI, King of France, 1483; Francis Baily, astronomer, 1844; Feargus Edward O'Connor, Chartist leader, 1855; Gilbert Abbott a Beckett, comic writer and playwright, 1856; Admiral Sir John Ross, explorer, 1856; John Francis, sculptor, 1861; Dr James Collis Browne, inventor of 'Chlorodyne', 1884; Thomas Thornycroft, sculptor, 1885; Georges-Eugene Sorel, socialist thinker, 1922; Franz von Stuck, painter and sculptor, 1928; Henri Barbusse, novelist and editor, 1935; Sir Joseph John Thomson, physicist, 1940.

On this day: Frederick II of Prussia was defeated by the French at Johannisberg, 1762; the Battle of Chesapeake Capes (War of American Independence) began, 1781; the first British tram service began, Birkenhead, 1860; during the American Civil War, the second Battle of Bull Run ended with the defeat of the Union army, 1862; the vacuum cleaner was patented by Hubert Cecil Booth, 1901; Alberta became a province of Canada, 1905; the Battle of Tannenberg ended when the Russians were defeated by German forces, 1914; Paul von Hindenburg became chief of the general staff of Germany, 1916; the siege of Leningrad began, 1941; Soviet troops entered Bucharest, Romania, 1944.

Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Fantinus, Saints Felix and Adauctus, St Margaret Ward, St Pammachius and St Ruan or Rumon.