TODAY is the feast day of Saint Gibrian, one of a family that produced seven saints. The family, seven brothers and three sisters, were from Ireland but decided they could live a holier life in solitude in a foreign country. They all settled in Brittany, each living separately but near enough each other to visit. Gibrian and his six brothers were canonised for their devotion to prayer and austerity. Strangely, none of the sisters (Francia, Pomptia and Posemna) were.
8 May, 1660: The British monarchy was restored after the collapse of Cromwell's Commonwealth.
1846: The United States defeated Mexico at the Battle of Palo Alto.
1873: John Stuart Mill (above), political economist and philosopher, died aged 67. He was educated by his father, James Mill, himself an eminent Scottish philosopher, and read Plato with ease aged 10. He developed the theory of utilitarianism ('the greatest happiness for the greatest number') beyond economic expediency to an advanced ethics of social behaviour. As a Radical member of Parliament (1865-68) he introduced a motion for women's suffrage and in 1869 he wrote On the Subjection of Women. His pamphlet On Liberty is considered the classic philosophical defence of liberalism.
BIRTHDAYS: Sir David Attenborough, naturalist, 68; Jack Charlton, football manager, 59; Gary Glitter, rock singer, 50; Norman Lamont MP, 52.
DEATHS: Richard Scarry, children's author, aged 74.Reuse content