The List

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DISAPPEARED: The Roman Ninth Legion (fighting the Picts); the crew of the Mary Celeste (1872); Glenn Miller (1944); Lord Lucan (1974); Michael Jackson (exact whereabouts still unknown).

THOUGHT DEAD WHEN ALIVE: Mark Twain ('the report of my death was an exaggeration', 1897); Bob Dylan (1966 after motorbike crash); Paul McCartney (1969); Bobby Ewing (1985); Sean Connery (denied in Hello] this week).


TODAY is the feast day of St Simeon Metaphrastes c1000, or Simon 'the Reteller', whose main claim to beatification seems to have been that he compiled legends of all the other saints of the Byzantine church. Many of his stories are fantastic and later chroniclers suggested he might have made them up, or else have been over-credulous. His defenders claim that he merely recorded the 'ridiculous' tales current in the oral tradition.

In medieval England 28 November was a 'dismal day', believed to be unlucky (one of 24 each year).

1290: Queen Eleanor of Castile died leaving King Edward I grief-stricken. Twelve memorial crosses were erected between Lincoln and London of which three remain - at Northampton, Geddington and Waltham. The cross outside Charing (chere reine) Cross station is a replica.

1757: William Blake, English poet, painter and visionary, born of Non-conformist parents in Soho, London. He did not attend school, but read widely as a boy and was later apprenticed to an engraver. In his lifetime he was considered to be mad. He was violently opposed to the dehumanising effects of the Industrial Revolution, memorably expressed in his lines to the preface of Milton 'And was Jerusalem builded here/ Among these dark Satanic mills'.

1905: Sinn Fein party founded in Dublin by Arthur Griffith.

1968: Enid Blyton died.

BIRTHDAYS: Stephen Roche, cycling champion, 34; Randy Newman, singer and songwriter, 50; Dervla Murphy, author, 62.

DEATHS: Tatiana Nikolayeva, pianist, 69; Bill Bixby, actor (The Incredible Hulk), 59.

(Photograph omitted)