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Births: Girolamo Savonarola, martyr and church reformer, 1452; Francesco Bartolozzi, engraver, 1727; Francis Hopkinson, composer, 1737; John Loudon McAdam, roadmaking engineer and inventor, 1756; Sir Edmund William Gosse, writer and critic, 1849; Gustav Holst, composer, 1874; Sir Allen Lane (Allen Lane Williams), publisher and founder of Penguin Books, 1902; Nigel Stock, actor, 1919; Dawn Addams, actress, 1930.

Deaths: Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro), poet, 19 BC; Edward II, king, murdered 1327; Marguerite d'Angouleme, Queen of Navarre, 1549; Sir Walter Scott, novelist and poet, 1832; Arthur Schopenhauer, philosopher, 1860; Armand Calinescu, Romanian prime minister, assassinated 1939; William Charles Franklyn Plomer, author, 1973.

On this day: the Turkish army of Suleiman the Magnificent was repulsed at Vienna, 1529; a duel was fought between Lord Castlereagh and George Canning, 1809; the London and Brighton Railway opened, 1841; Stonehenge was sold by auction for pounds 6,600, 1915; the independence of Latvia was proclaimed, 1917; Britain abandoned the Gold Standard, and the pound fell from dollars 4.86 to dollars 3.49, 1931; the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) was inaugurated, 1949; Malta became independent, 1964; over 8,000 people died in floods caused by hurricanes, Honduras 1974.

Today is the Feast Day of St Matthew, St Maura of Troyes, St Michael of Chernigov, St Theodore of Chernigov and The Martyrs of Korea.