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Births: James VI, King of Scotland/ James I, King of England, 1566; Thomas Fuller, preacher and scholar, 1608; Blaise Pascal, mathematician and philosopher, 1623; Jean-Marie Collot d'Herbois, French revolutionary, 1749; Raffaello Sanzio Morghen, engraver, 1758; Hugues- Felicite-Robert de Lamennais, church reformer, 1782; John Gibson, sculptor, 1790; Ferdinand David, violinist and composer, 1810; Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Baptist minister, 1834; Sir Frank (Francis) Job Short, engraver and painter, 1857; Sir George Alexander (George Samson), actor-manager, 1858; Douglas, First Earl Haig, soldier, 1861; Sir Max Pemberton, author and editor, 1863; Charles Coburn, actor, 1877; Bessie Wallis Warfield, Duchess of Windsor, 1896; Guy Lombardo, bandleader, 1902; Walter Reginald Hammond, cricketer, 1903; Sir Ernst Boris Chain, bacteriologist and pioneer of penicillin, 1906.

Deaths: Matthew Merian the Elder, engraver and bookseller, 1650; Nicholas Lemery, physician and chemist, 1715; John Brown, scholar and theologian, 1787; Sir Joseph Banks, naturalist and explorer, 1820; Maximilian, Archduke of Austria and Emperor of Mexico, executed 1867; Adrian Ludwig Richter, painter, 1884; John Percy, metallurgist, 1889; John Emerich Edward Dalberg, first Baron Acton, historian and philosopher, 1902; Sir James Matthew Barrie, author and playwright, 1937; Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, US spies for the Soviet Union, executed 1953; Jean Arthur (Gladys Georgianna Greene), actress, 1991; Sir William Gerald Golding, novelist and Nobel prizewinner, 1993.

On this day: King Louis XI of France created a (private) Royal Mail service, 1464; Suvarov defeated the French army, ending the Battle of Trebbia River, 1799; the French army under General Jean Moreau defeated the Austrians under General Baron Paul Kray von Krajowa at the Battle of Hochstadt, 1800; Curwen's Act, limiting the power of a British Government to manipulate seats in Parliament, was passed 1809; an Act was passed founding the Metropolitan Police, 1829; the Earl of Rosse announced his discovery of spiral nebulae, 1850; the first Zeppelin dirigible airship, the Deutschland was launched, 1910; a republic was proclaimed in Portugal, 1911; all German titles and names were renounced by the British Royal Family and the name Windsor was adopted instead, 1917; King George V conferred peerages on members of the Teck and Battenberg families, 1917; a census was taken, 1921; Kuwait became independent of Britain, 1961.

Today is the Feast Day of St Bruno-Boniface, St Deodatus or Die, Saints Gervase and Protase, St Juliana Falconieri, St Odo of Cambrai and St Romuald.