Births: Sir Richard Fanshawe, diplomat, translator and poet, baptised 1608; Giuseppe Puppo, violinist, 1749; Harriet Martineau, novelist and historian, 1802; John Augustus Roebling, engineer, 1806; Charles Kingsley, novelist, 1819; Henri Jean Augustin de Braekeleer, painter, 1840; Rikard Nordraak, composer and folksong collector, 1842; Sir Oliver Joseph Lodge, physicist, 1851; Julius Heinrich Spengel, organist, conductor and composer, 1853; Pol Henry Plancon, bass singer, 1854; Robert Anthony Eden, first Earl of Avon, statesman, 1897; Anne Frank, diarist, 1929.

Deaths: William Collins, poet, 1759; Jean Etienne Liotard, painter, 1789; Dr Thomas Arnold, educationist, 1842; Edward Troughton, scientific instrument maker, 1835; Montague Rhodes James, author and editor, 1936; Sydney Howard, comedian, 1946; John Nicholson Ireland, composer, 1962; Sir Herbert Read, poet and critic, 1968; Edmund Wilson, novelist, playwright and poet, 1972; Dame Marie Rambert (Cyvia Rambam), ballet producer, director and teacher, 1982.

On this day: Magdalen College, Oxford, was founded, 1458; the Library of John Cotton was presented to the nation (it now forms part of the British Library), 1700; the Act of Settlement was passed, 1701; the first electric telegraph was patented by Sir William Cooke and Sir Charles Wheatstone, 1837; in Quebec, Canada, a theatre caught fire and 200 people lost their lives, 1846; the Rotherhithe-Stepney Tunnel beneath the Thames was opened, 1908; the Hamburg-Amerika liner Imperator left Spithead on her maiden voyage to New York, 1913; in Greece, King Constantine abdicated in favour of his second son, Alexander, 1917; the London production of the musical show Hold Everything! opened, 1929; the Beatles were awarded the MBE in the Birthday Honours, 1965; Boris Yeltsin was elected president of the Russian Republic, 1991.

Today is the Feast Day of St Eskill, St John of Sahagun, St Leo III, pope, St Odulphus, St Onuphrius and St Ternan.