Births: Robert Dodsley, poet and bookseller, 1703; John Hunter, surgeon and anatomist, 1728; David Allan, painter, 1744; Giovanni Giuseppe Cambini, violinist and composer, 1746; Lord Randolph Henry Spencer Churchill, politician, 1849; Arthur Mees, conductor and singing teacher, 1850; William Strang, painter and engraver, 1859; Eleanor Farjeon, writer, 1881; Sir Neville Pearson, publisher, 1898; Lewis Grassic Gibbon (James Leslie Mitchell), novelist, 1901; Georges Simenon, novelist, 1901.

Deaths: Sweyn, King of Denmark, 1014; Catherine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII, executed 1542; Benvenuto Cellini, sculptor and goldsmith, 1571; Jacopo Bassano, painter, 1592; Cotton Mather, American colonist and writer, 1728; Johann Joseph Fux, composer, 1741; Charles-Ferdinand, Duc de Berri, heir presumptive to the French throne, assassinated 1820; Charles Meryon, etcher, 1868; Wilhelm Richard Wagner, composer, 1883; Sir James Thomas Knowles, editor and architect, 1908; Alphonse Bertillon, criminologist, 1914; Rafael Sabatini, novelist, 1950; Lloyd Cassel Douglas, novelist, 1951; Georges-Henri Rouault, Expressionist painter, 1958; Dame Christabel Harriette Pankhurst, suffragette, 1958; Ildebrando Pizzetti, composer, 1968; Lily (Alice Josephine) Pons, singer, died 1976; Jean Renoir, film-maker, died 1979.

On this day: William and Mary ascended the throne, 1689; the Glencoe Massacre took place, 1692; French troops landed on St Kitts in the West Indies and claimed the island for France, 1782; Asiatic cholera first appeared in Limehouse and Rotherhithe, London 1832; the Corps of Commissionaires was founded, 1859; Strauss's waltz The Blue Danube was first played in Vienna, 1867; Brigadier Wingate led the first Expedition Chindits across the River Chindwin, Burma 1943; the Nuffield Foundation was set up, 1943; Alexander Solzhenitsyn was expelled from the Soviet Union, 1974; Konstantin Chernenko was elected secretary-general of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union, 1984.

Today is the Feast Day of St Catherine dei Ricci, St Ermenilda or Ermengild, St Licinius or Lesin, St Martinian the Hermit, St Modomnoc, St Polyeuctes of Melitene and St Stephen of Rieti.