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Births: Tintoretto (Jacopo Robusti), painter, 1518; Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, playwright and novelist, 1547; Francois Boucher, painter, 1703; Robert Clive, Baron Clive of Plassey, 1725; Ernst Ludwig Gerber, lexicographer and organist, 1746; Johann Gottfried Schicht, harpsichordist and composer, 1753; Horatio, Viscount Nelson, 1758; William Thomas Beckford, novelist, collector and spendthrift, 1760; Mrs Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, novelist, 1810; Andreas Achenbach, landscape painter, 1815; Albert Hahn, musical director and editor, 1828; William Whiteley, department store pioneer, 1831; Henri-Michel-Antoine Chapu, sculptor and portrait medallist, 1833; Henry Hobson Richardson, architect, 1838; Miguel de Unamuno, philosopher and poet, 1864; Walter Rathenau, statesman and industrialist, 1867; Theodor Hildebrandt, painter, 1874; Sir Billy Butlin, holiday camp pioneer, 1899; Enrico Fermi, physicist, 1901.

Deaths: Gustavus Vasa, King of Sweden, 1560; Andre Gretry, composer, 1813; Ferdinand VII, King of Spain, 1833; Francois-Joseph Heim, painter, 1865; Winslow Homer, painter, 1910; Rudolf Diesel, engineer, at sea, 1913; Willem Einthoven, physician, 1927; Ilya Yefimovich Repin, painter, 1930; Sir William Orpen, painter, 1931; Winifred Holtby, novelist, 1935; Bruce Bairnsfather, cartoonist, 1959; Carson McCullers, novelist, 1967; Wystan Hugh Auden, poet, 1973; Pope John Paul I, reigned only 33 days, 1978.

On this day: Richard II abdicated the throne, and was deposed by Parliament, 1399; the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle started, 1818; the police force inaugurated by Sir Robert Peel started duty in London, 1829; the first London performance of the musical show A Trip to Chinatown was presented, 1894; Italy declared war on Turkey over Tripoli, 1911; Turkey and Bulgaria signed the peace treaty of Constantinople, 1913; the first of three nightly German air raids over London began, 1917; the Allies broke through the German Hindenburg Line, 1918; a British Mandate was proclaimed over Palestine, 1923; the Pilgrim Trust was established in Britain, by the American Edward Stephen Harkness, 1930; the Whitehall Theatre, London, opened, 1930; the agreement between Germany and Italy, France and Britain was signed at Munich by Hitler, Mussolini, Daladier and Neville Chamberlain, 1938; Soviet troops invaded Yugoslavia, 1944; the BBC Third Programme started, 1946.

Today is the Feast Day of St Gabriel, St Michael and St Raphael, archangels, Saints Rhipsime, Gaiana and Companions and St Theodota of Philippolis.