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TODAY: Births: Charles Kemble, actor and playwright, 1775; Andrew Carnegie, industrialist and philanthropist, 1835; Carl Friedrich Benz, automobile pioneer, 1844; Leonard Sidney Woolf, publisher, 1880. Deaths: King Herod the Great, 4 BC; Prince William, son of Henry I, lost at sea in the White Ship 1120; Edward Alleyn, actor and founder of Dulwich College, 1626; Dame Lilian Mary Baylis, founder of the Old Vic theatre, 1937; Dame Myra Hess, pianist, 1965. On this day: the English defeated the Scots at the Battle of Solway Moss, 1542; New York was evacuated by the British, 1783; the Royalty Theatre, Soho, London, closed, 1938; the play The Mousetrap, by Agatha Christie, opened in London, 1952. Today is the Feast Day of St Mercurius of Caesarea and St Moses the Martyr.

TOMORROW: Births: The Rev Dr William Derham, natural philosopher, 1657; William Cowper, poet, 1731; Sir Mark Aurel Stein, archaeologist, 1862; Dr Cyril James Cusack, actor, 1910. Deaths: Isabella I, Queen of Castile and Aragon, 1504; John Loudon McAdam, inventor of the tarmac road-surfacing system, 1836; Harold Harmsworth, first Viscount Rothermere, newspaper proprietor, 1940; Thomas Francis (Tommy) Dorsey, bandleader trombonist and composer, 1956; Cyril Vernon Connolly, critic, 1974. On this day: New College, Oxford was founded by William of Wykeham, 1379; the Great Storm raged in England, costing 8,000 lives, 1703; the first Eddystone Lighthouse was blown down, 1703; to commemorate the harvest of 1623, the first national Thanksgiving Day was held in the United States, 1789; India became a federal republic within the Commonwealth, 1949; three tons of gold bullion worth pounds 5m were stolen from Heathrow, 1983. Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Basolus or Basle, St Conrad of Constance, St John Berchmans, St Leonard of Porto Maurizio, St Peter of Alexandria, St Silvester Gozzolini and St Siricius.