Births: John Cotton, Puritan leader in New England, 1585; Andre Campra, composer, 1660; Thomas Godfrey, American colonial poet and playwright, 1736; Jeanne- Francoise-Julie-Adelaide Bernard, Madame Recamier, French society leader, 1777; Johann Gottlob Topfer, organist and writer, 1791; Thomas Carlyle, author, 1795; General Sir William Fenwick Williams, soldier and hero of Kars, 1800; Dr John Kitto, author and Biblical editor, 1804; George Henry Boughton, painter, 1833; Samuel Butler, author and satirist, 1835; Lillian Russell (Helen Louise Leonard), singer and actress, 1861; Edith Louisa Cavell, nurse, 1865; Rainer Maria Rilke, poet, 1875; Richard Horatio Edgar Wallace, thriller novelist and playwright, 1875; Sir Herbert Hamilton Harty, conductor, 1879; Katharine Susannah Prichard, novelist, 1883; General Francisco Paulino Hermengildo Teodulo Franco Bahamonde, dictator, 1892; Sir Herbert Read, poet and critic, 1893.

Deaths: Pope John XXII, 1334; Nicholas Ferrar, theologian, 1637; Armand-Jean du Plessis, Cardinal and duc de Richelieu, statesman, 1642; William Drummond of Hawthornden, poet, 1649; Thomas Hobbes, political philosopher, 1679; John Gay, poet, playwright and author, 1732; Luigi Galvani, electrical inventor, 1798; Karl Ludwig Fernow, archaeologist and art critic, 1808; Robert Banks Jenkinson, second Earl of Liverpool, statesman, 1828; Richard Westall, painter, 1836; William Sturgeon, electrical engineer, 1850; James Duffield Harding, landscape painter, 1863; John Tyndall, physicist, 1893; Stefan George, poet, 1933; Thomas Hunt Morgan, geneticist, 1945; Pedro Salinas y Serrano, poet, playwright and scholar, 1951; Glenn Luther Martin, aircraft inventor, 1955; Jack (John Wesley Vivian) Payne, bandleader, 1969; Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron, composer, 1976.

On this day: Nicholas Breakspear was elected Pope Adrian IV, thus becoming the only Englishman to be pope, 1154; the Council of Trent was dissolved, 1563; the Observer was first published, 1791; France declared war on Naples, 1798; Income Tax was first introduced by William Pitt, 1798; the Inquisition in Spain was abolished by Napoleon, 1808; Suttee (the burning of a widow on her husband's funeral pyre) was abolished in India, 1829; the colony of Queensland was established, 1859; the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand, London, were opened, 1882; the Chain Pier at Brighton was destroyed during heavy gales, 1896; the kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was proclaimed, 1918; Timothy Healy became the first Governor-General of the Irish Free State, 1922; the New York columnist Walter Winchell started his radio programme, 1932; after two trains collided in fog at Lewisham, London, 92 people were killed and 173 injured, 1957; Jean Bedel Bokassa crowned himself emperor of the Central African Empire at Bangui, 1977; Dr Francisco de Sa Carneiro, prime minister of Portugal, and six others were killed in an air crash at Lisbon, 1980; Moscow officially denounced the invasion in 1968 of Czechoslovakia by Soviet troops, 1989.

Today the Feast Day of St Anno, St Bernard of Parma, St John of Damascus, St Maruthas, St Osmund and St Sola.