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Sir Nicholas Bayne, former High Commissioner to Canada, 59; Sir Harold Beeley, historian and former ambassador, 87; Sir William Bentley, chairman, Society of Pension Consultants, and former ambassador, 69; Miss Claire Bloom, actress, 65; Sir Stephen Brown, former chairman, Stone-Platt Industries, 90; Mr Derek Conway MP, 43; Mr Dan Crompton, Chief Constable, Nottinghamshire, 55; Mrs Chloe Davis, former chairman, Consumer Affairs Group of National Organisations, 87; Sir Maurice Drake, High Court Judge, 73; Mr Frank Dunlop, former director of the Edinburgh Festival, 69; Mr Paul Ferris, author and journalist, 67; Mr John Greenway MP, 50; Mr Gerald Harper, actor, 67; The Earl of Jersey, company chairman, 86; Miss Diana Jones, jockey, 46; Professor Andrew Miller, principal, Stirling University, 60; Mr Charles Needham, former chairman, Coalite, 72; Sir Richard O'Brien, former chairman, Manpower Services Commission, 76; Mr William Reid, the Ombudsman, 65; Miss Jane Seymour, actress, 45; Miss Clare Short MP, 50; Mr Peter Squire, headmaster, Bedford Modern School, 59; Mr John Stainer, musician, 81; Sir Adrian Swire, chairman, John Swire & Sons Ltd, 64; Sir Alan Ward, a Lord Justice of Appeal, 58; The Right Rev Robert Woods, assistant Bishop, Gloucester, 82.


Births: Galileo Galilei, astronomer and mathematician, 1564; Jeremy Bentham, philosopher and writer, 1748; Charles Lewis Tiffany, jeweller, 1812; Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, Antarctic explorer, 1874; John Barrymore (Blythe), actor, 1882; Cesar Romero (Caesar Julius Romero), actor, 1907; Graham Hill, racing driver, 1929. Deaths: Jan Swammerdam, entomologist, 1680; Cardinal Nicholas Patrick Stephen Wiseman, 1865; Herbert Henry, Earl of Oxford and Asquith, statesman, 1928; Nat "King" Cole (Nathaniel Adams Coles), singer and musician, 1965; Ethel Merman (Zimmerman), singer and actress, 1984. On this day: the first cargo of frozen meat left New Zealand for Britain, 1882; the first session of the Permanent Court of International Justice was held at the Hague, 1922; Britain changed over to decimal currency, 1971; a violent storm off Newfoundland wrecked an oil rig, killing 84, 1982. Today is the Feast Day of St Agape of Terni, St Sigfrid of Vaxjo, St Tanco or Tatto and St Walfrid or Galfrid.