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TODAY: Births: Gilbert Sheldon, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1598; Samuel Colt, inventor of the revolver, 1814; Hilaire Germaine Edgar Degas, painter, 1834. Deaths: Matthew Flinders, explorer of Australia, 1814; Thomas Cook, travel agent, 1892. On this day: the Spanish Armada was sighted off the coast of England, 1588; Queen Caroline was forcibly prevented from appearing at the Coronation of King George IV, 1821; the first Men's Singles Tennis final was played at Wimbledon, 1877; the Paris Metro was opened, 1900; the western half of England, Wales and Ireland was hit by the most severe earthquake to have occurred in the country for over 100 years, 1984. Today is the Feast Day of St Ambrose Autpert, St Arsenius the Great, St James of Nisibia, St John Plesington, Saints Justa and Rufina, St Macrina the Younger, St Symmachus, Pope.

TOMORROW: Births: John Charles Walsham, first Lord Reith, first director-general of the BBC, 1889; Dame Cicely Veronica Wedgwood, historian, 1910. Deaths: Sir Richard Wallace, founder of the Wallace Collection, 1890; Andrew Lang, scholar, author and fairy tale editor, 1912; Iain Norman Macleod, statesman, 1970. On this day: Euston Station opened, 1837; the XIth Olympic Games opened in Berlin, 1936; 10 soldiers were killed after IRA bombs exploded in Hyde Park and Regent's Park, London, 1982. Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Ansegisus, St Aurelius of Carthage, St Elias of Jerusalem, St Flavian of Antioch, St Gregory Lopez, St Joseph Barsabas the Just, St Margaret of Antioch, St Wilgefortis or Liberata, St Wulmar