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Births: Thomas Luber (Thomas Erastus), theologian and physician, 1524; Queen Elizabeth I, 1533; Stephen Hales, botanist and inventor, 1677; Thomas Coutts, banker, 1735; William Butterfield, church architect, 1814; John McDouall Stuart, explorer of Australia, 1815; Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, statesman, 1836; William Friese-Greene, pioneer of the cinema, 1855; Anna Mary ('Grandma') Moses, primitive painter, 1860; George Herbert Hirst, cricketer, 1871; Dame Edith Sitwell, writer, 1887; Bruce Frederick Cummings ('WNP Barbellion'), diarist and biologist, 1889; Lt- Gen Sir Brian Gwynne Horrocks, soldier and author, 1895; Sir John Anthony Quayle, actor, 1913; Gp- Capt Lord Cheshire OM VC, 1917; Peter Lawford, actor, 1923; Charles Hardin ('Buddy') Holly, rock singer, 1936.

Deaths: Ferdinand IV, King of Castile and Leon, 1312; Catherine Parr, sixth wife of King Henry VIII, 1548; Hannah More, author and evangelist, 1833; Rene-Francois-Armand Sully Prudhomme, poet, 1907; William Holman Hunt, pre-Raphaelite painter, 1910; Charles Burgess Fry, cricketer, footballer and journalist, 1956; Patrick Gordon Campbell, third Baron Glenavy, writer and broadcaster, 1981; Liam O'Flaherty, novelist, 1984.

On this day: the French army under Napoleon defeated the Russians at the Battle of Borodino, 1812; the first known reference to 'Uncle Sam' was in an editorial in the Troy Post (New York), 1813; the independence of Brazil from Portugal was declared, 1822; Grace Horsley Darling and William, her father rescued the crew of the Forfarshire steamship at the Farne Islands, 1838; the Peace of Pekin ended the Boxer Rising in China, 1901; the British explorer Sir Francis Younghusband led an expedition to Tibet, where a treaty was signed with the Dalai Lama, 1904; the 'Black Knight', a British ballistic missile, was fired from the Woomera range in Australia, 1958; the US ambassador to Brazil, Charles Burke Elbrick, was set free by terrorists in exchange for the release of 15 prisoners, 1969.

Today is the Feast Day of Saints Alcmund and Tilbert, St Anastasius the Fuller, St Cloud or Clodoald, St Grimonia, St John of Nicomedia, St Reine of Alise and St Sozon.