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REARING ROYALS: King Laius: 'don't call him Oedipus and keep him away from his mother'; King Herod: 'a firm hand with the under-2s'; the Red Queen in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: 'off with their heads', and the Duchess: 'speak roughly to your little boy and beat him when he sneezes'; Richard III of his nephews: 'so wise so young, they say, do never live long'; Queen Victoria (to girls): 'close your eyes and think of England'; King Lear: 'how sharper than the serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child'; Marie Antoinette 'let them eat cake'; King Midas: 'worth their weight in gold'; Prince of Wales: 'it may be necessary and sensible to administer a smack to your child'.

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.

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