Historic Birthdates in August

by Ben Johnson

Our selection of historic birthdates in August, including Alexander Fleming, Mother Teresa and T E Lawrence (pictured above).

1 Aug. 10BC Claudius I, Roman emperor who invaded Britain in AD 43 and made it a province of Rome.
2 Aug. 1891 Sir Arthur Bliss, London-born composer and Master of the Queens Music from 1953: his work includes film scores and music for ballet.
3 Aug. 1867 Stanley Baldwin, British statesman and Conservative Prime Minister three times between 1923 and 1937.
4 Aug. 1792 Percy Bysshe Shelley, poet and radical, eloped with 16-year-old Harriot Westbrook in 1811 and in 1814 with Mary Godwin (see 30 Aug below), whom he married in 1816.
5 Aug. 1853 Edward John Eyre, Yorkshire-born explorer, colonial administrator and Governor of Jamaica and explorer: Lake Eyre and the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia are named after him.
6 Aug. 1881 Alexander Fleming, Scottish bacteriologist who discovered penicillin whilst working at St. Mary’s Hospital, London in 1928.
7 Aug. 1903 Louis Leakey, palaeontologist who uncovered evidence of man’s early evolution, including a 1,750,000 year-old skull.
8 Aug. 1953 Nigel Mansell, Formula 1 and Indycar racing world champion.
9 Aug. 1757 Thomas Telford, Scottish civil engineer: his networks of roads, canals and bridges formed the backbone to the world’s first industrial economy, most spectacular perhaps his iron suspension bridge over the Menai Straits.
10 Aug. 1782 Charles James Napier, army general who captured the Indian province of Sind and announced such in a one-worded telegram to the British authorities ‘Peccavi’ – I have sinned.
11 Aug. 1897 Enid Blyton, London-born author of over 600 children’s books, including ‘Noddy‘, the ‘Famous Five’ and the ‘Secret Seven’.
12 Aug. 1762 George IV, King of Great Britain and Ireland. His extravagances and the scandal surrounding his marriage to Caroline of Brunswick made him an unpopular monarch.
13 Aug. 1888 John Baird, Scottish electrical engineer and pioneer of the television. In 1929 his mechanically scanned 30-line apparatus was used by the BBC for its first television programmes.
14 Aug. 1867 John Galsworthy, Surrey born novelist, Nobel Prize winner and playwright who wrote The Forsyte Saga.
15 Aug. 1888 T E Lawrence, British soldier and writer, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, who recorded his exploits against the Turks in The Seven Pillars of Wisdom.
16 Aug. 1902 Georgette Heyer, London born popular writer of historical and detective novels.
17 Aug. 1920 Maureen O’Hara, Dublin-born actress who moved to Hollywood and starred inThe Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Black Swan and The Quiet Man.
18 Aug. 1587 Virginia Dare, American colonist, the first child of English parents to be born in the New World.
19 Aug. 1646 John Flamsteed, first Astronomer Royal of England, he was responsible for equipping the Royal Observatory in Greenwich and producing the great star catalogues Historia Coelestis Britannica and Atlas Coelestis.
20 Aug. 1906 Bunny Austin, British tennis player and four-times winner of the Davis Cup.
21 Aug. 1765 King William IV of Great Britain and Ireland, also known as ‘the sailor king’ as he joined the Royal Navy at 13. William was well known for his affairs and had 10 illegitimate children by actress Dorothea Jordan.
22 Aug. 1957 Steve Davis, snooker world champion, the first player to earn £1 million from the game.
23 Aug. 1947 Willy Russell, Liverpool playwright whose works include Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine.
24 Aug. 1724 George Stubbs, Liverpool-born self-taught animal painter, reckoned by many to be the greatest of all horse painters.
25 Aug. 1819 Allan Pinkerton, Glasgow-born founder of the famous US Pinkerton National Detective Agency.
26 Aug. 1676 Sir Robert Walpole, Whig politician and the first ‘prime minister‘, restored financial stability after the South Sea Bubble, was forced into the War of Jenkins’s Ear with Spain.
27 Aug. 1910 Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Albanian-born missionary dedicated to the care of the poor and sick, particularly in India.
28 Aug. 1919 Sir Godfrey Hounsfield, Nottinghamshire inventor of the EMI – computer-assisted tomography (CAT scanner), which allows detailed X-ray slices of the human body to be produced.
29 Aug. 1632 John Locke, Somerset-born and Oxford educated philosopher, – ‘all knowledge is founded on and ultimately derives from sense…or sensation’.
30 Aug. 1797 Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, London-born writer, she eloped with Percy Bysshe Shelley and married him in 1816, author of Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus.
31 Aug. 1913 Sir Bernard Lovell, astronomer, developed airborne radar systems in WWII, responsible for the construction of 250-ft diameter radio telescope at Jodrell Bank near Manchester.

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