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Births: Henry IV, King of England, 1367; The Rev George Herbert, clergyman and poet, 1593; John Abernethy, surgeon, 1764; Washington Irving, essayist and historian, 1783; Edward Everett Hale, writer, 1822; Mario Castelnuovo- Tedesco, composer, 1895; Henry Robinson Luce, publisher and founder of Time and Fortune magazines, 1898.

Deaths: Bartolom Esteban Murillo, painter, 1682; Sir John Friend and Sir William Parkyns, executed for attempting to assassinate King William III 1696; Bishop Reginald Heber, hymn-writer, 1826; Jesse Woodson James, outlaw, shot in the back 1882; Johannes Brahms, pianist and composer, 1897; Richard D'Oyly Carte, operatic impresario, 1901; Kurt Julian Weill, composer, 1950; Henry Graham Greene, novelist, 1991.

On this day: the peace of Cateau-Cambresis was signed, 1559; the first Pony Express began at St Joseph, Missouri across the United States, to Sacramento, California, 1860; Mrs Emily Pankhurst was sentenced to three years' penal servitude for inciting others to place explosives at the house of David Lloyd George, 1913; Haile Selassie (Ras Tafari) was proclaimed Emperor of Ethiopia, 1930; the Arab nations concluded an armistice with Israel, 1949; after two false starts, the Grand National was declared void, 1993.

Today is the Feast Day of Saints Agape, Chionia, and Irene, St Burgundofara or Fare, St Nicetas, St Pancras of Taormina, St Richard of Chichester and St Sixtus I, pope.