Born on April 17

617 Donnán of Eigg a Gaelic priest, likely from Ireland, who attempted to introduce Christianity to the Picts of northwestern Scotland during the Early Middle Ages. Donnán is the patron saint of Eigg, an island in the Inner Hebrides where he was martyred
1154 Sancho VII of Navarre the King of Navarre from 1194 to his death. His retirement at the end of his life has given rise to the alternate nickname el Encerrado or "the Retired."
1277 Michael IX Palaiologos or Palaeologus , , reigned as Byzantine co-emperor with full imperial style 1294/1295–1320. Michael IX was the eldest son of Andronikos II Palaiologos and Anna of Hungary , daughter of Stephen V of Hungary
1313 Constantine III King of Armenia the King of Armenian Cilicia from 1344 to 1362. He was the son of Baldwin, Lord of Neghir, a nephew of Hethum I of Armenia, and a distant cousin of Constantine II
1344 Constantine II King of Armenia elected the first Latin King of Armenian Cilicia of the Lusignan dynasty, ruling from 1342 until his death in 1344.
1497 Pedro de Valdivia a Spanish conquistador and the first royal governor of Chile. After serving with the Spanish army in Italy and Flanders, he was sent to South America in 1534, where he served as lieutenant under Francisco Pizarro in Peru, acting as his second in command. In 1540 he led an expedition of 150 Spaniards into Chile, where he defeated a large force of Indians and founded Santiago in 1541. He extended Spanish rule south to the Bío-Bío River in 1546, fought again in Peru , and returned to Chile as governor in 1549. He began to conquer Chile south of the Bío-Bío and founded Concepción in 1550. He was captured and killed in a campaign against the Araucanian Indians. The city of Valdivia in Chile is named after him
1573 Maximilian I Elector of Bavaria a Wittelsbach ruler of Bavaria and a prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire. His reign was marked by the Thirty Years' War
1598 Giovanni Battista Riccioli an Italian astronomer and a Catholic priest in the Jesuit order. He is known, among other things, for his experiments with pendulums and with falling bodies, for his discussion of 126 arguments concerning the motion of the Earth, and for introducing the current scheme of lunar nomenclature
1604 Frans Luycx a Flemish Baroque artist who became the leading court painter at the imperial court of Emperor Ferdinand III in Vienna. He is most famous for his portraits of Emperor's family and court
1606 Jan Davidsz. de Heem a still life painter who was active in Utrecht and Antwerp. He is a major representative of that genre in both Dutch and Flemish Baroque painting
1620 Marguerite Bourgeoys the French foundress of the Congregation of Notre Dame of Montreal in the colony of New France, now part of Canada. She lived in Fort Ville-Marie as of 1653, educating young girls, the poor, and natives until her death at the turn of the 18th century. She is also significant for developing one of the first uncloistered religious communities in the Catholic Church. She has been declared a saint by the Catholic Church
1621 Thomas Vaughan (philosopher) a Welsh philosopher, now remembered for his writings in the area of natural magic.
1621 Henry Vaughan a Welsh author, physician and metaphysical poet.
1676 Frederick I of Sweden a prince consort of Sweden from 1718 to 1720, and a King of Sweden from 1720 until his death and also Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel from 1730. He ascended the throne following the death of his brother-in-law, absolutist Charles XII in the Great Northern War, as his sister and heir Ulrika Eleonora preferred to abdicate from her position as queen regnant after relinquishing most powers to the Riksdag of the Estates. His powerless reign saw his family's elimination from the line of succession after the parliamentary government dominated by pro-revanchist Hat Party politicians ventured into a war with Russia, which ended in defeat and the Russian tsarina Elizabeth demanding Adolph Frederick of Holstein-Gottorp to be instated following the death of the king
1683 Johann David Heinichen a German Baroque composer and music theorist who brought the musical genius of Venice to the court of Augustus the Strong in Dresden. Heinichen's music lingered in obscurity for a long time
1699 Robert Blair (poet) a Scottish poet. His fame rests upon his poem The Grave, which, in a later printing was illustrated by William Blake
1704 Andrija Kačić Miošić a Croatian poet and Franciscan monk.
1710 Henry Erskine 10th Earl of Buchan a Scottish peer.
1713 Samuel Graves probably best known for his role early in the American War of Independence.
1718 Adam František Kollár a Slovak jurist, Imperial-Royal Court Councilor and Chief Imperial-Royal Librarian, a member of Natio Hungarica in the Kingdom of Hungary, a historian, ethnologist, an influential advocate of Empress Maria Theresa's Enlightened and centralist policies. His advancement of Maria Theresa's status in the Kingdom of Hungary as its apostolic ruler in 1772 was used as an argument in support of the subsequent Habsburg annexations of Galicia and Dalmatia. Kollár is also credited with coining the term ethnology and providing its first definition in 1783. Some authors see him as one of the earliest pro-Slovak, pro-Slavic, and pan-Slavic activists in the Habsburg Monarchy
1734 Taksin the only King of the Thonburi Kingdom and was of Thai Chinese heritage. He was a leader in the liberation of Siam from Burmese occupation after the Second Fall of Ayutthaya in 1767, and the subsequent unification of Siam after it fell under various warlords. He established the city Thonburi as the new capital, as the city Ayutthaya had been almost completely destroyed by the invaders. His reign was characterized by numerous wars, fought to repel new Burmese invasions and to subjugate the northern Thai kingdom of Lanna, the Laotian principalities, and a threatening Cambodia. He was executed and succeeded by his long-time friend King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke who then created the Chakri dynasty and the Rattanakosin Kingdom
1741 Samuel Chase an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court and earlier was a signatory to the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Maryland. Early in life, Chase was a "firebrand" states-righter and revolutionary. His political views changed over his lifetime, and, in the last decades of his career, he became well known as a staunch Federalist and was impeached for allegedly letting his partisan leanings affect his court decisions
1750 François de Neufchâteau a French statesman, poet, and scientist.
1754 Nikolay Mordvinov one of the most reputable Russian political thinkers of Alexander I's reign. He is associated with the reforms of Mikhail Speransky, who he advised on the ways to improve the performance of the national economy
1756 Louis Marc Antoine de Noailles the second son of Philippe, duc de Mouchy, and a member of Mouchy branch of the famous Noailles family of the French aristocracy.
1756 Dheeran Chinnamalai a Kongu chieftain and Palayakkarar from Tamil Nadu who rose up in revolt against the British East India Company in the Kongu Nadu, Southern India. Kongunadu comprised the modern day districts of Coimbatore, Nilgiri, Tirupur, Erode, Salem, Dharmapuri, Karur, Namakkal and parts of Dindigul District and Krishnagiri District of Tamil Nadu state
1763 Jean Pierre Étienne Vaucher a Swiss Protestant pastor and botanist who was a native of Geneva.
1766 Collin McKinney a land surveyor, merchant, politician, and lay preacher. He is best known as an important figure in the Texas Revolution, as one of the five individuals who drafted the Texas Declaration of Independence and the oldest person to sign it
1772 Vojtěch Nejedlý a Czech writer.
1774 Václav Tomášek a Czech composer and music teacher.
1776 Jean-François Roger a French politician, journalist, poet and dramatic author. During the Revolution, at 16 years of age, he and his family were imprisoned for seventeen months for singing royalist songs. He was a civil servant, and he entered l' University where he published works of school literature. He was later appointed Professor during the Empire and Restoration. He was elected member of the French Academy, as a replacement for Suard, on 8 August 1817 and received by the duke of Lévis on 30 November next. His election was widely criticized. He was a member of the Commission of the Dictionary where he fought the Lacretelle proposal, accepted Villemain and the count of Holy-Aulaire and voted against Victor Hugo. He was one of the companions of the “Lunch of the Fork”. Of his comic and lyric works, sometimes written in collaboration with Etienne de Jouy, his greatest success is a comedy in verse, in three acts: L'Avocat, played for the first time at the Comédie-Française
1786 Charles de la Bédoyère a French General during the reign of Emperor Napoleon I who was executed in 1815.
1791 Ottaviano-Fabrizio Mossotti an Italian physicist exiled from Italy for his liberal ideas. He later taught astronomy and physics at the University of Buenos Aires. His name is associated with a type of multiple-element lens correcting spherical aberration and coma, but not chromatic aberration. The Clausius-Mossotti formula is partly named after him. Mossotti was Chair of Experimental Physics in Buenos Aires and taught numerous Argentinian physicians his views on dielectrics, thereby becoming influential on the Argentine-German neurobiological tradition as regards electricity inside brain tissue, and later on this tradition's models of stationary waves in the interference of neural activity for short-term memory. He returned to Italy, participated in military actions after his age of sixty, and was appointed as Senator. There Mossotti also was influential on Hendrik Lorentz's views on fundamental forces, as well as more than five hundred mathematician students
1794 Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius a German botanist and explorer.
1796 Stanisław Jachowicz a Polish educator, poet and children books author. He is regarded as the founding father of children literature in Poland
1798 Étienne Bobillier a French mathematician.
1814 Josif Pančić a Serbian botanist, doctor, a famous lecturer at the Great School in Belgrade and the first president of the Serbian Royal Academy. He extensively documented the flora of Serbia, and is credited with having classified many species of plants which were unknown to the botanical community at that time. Pančić is credited for discovering the Serbian Spruce
1814 August Grisebach a German botanist and phytogeographer. Born in Hannover on April 17, 1814, he died at Göttingen on May 9, 1879
1815 August Schenk an Austrian-born, German botanist and paleobotanist.
1815 Princess Therese of Nassau-Weilburg a member of the House of Nassau-Weilburg and a Princess of Nassau-Weilburg by birth. Through her marriage to Duke Peter of Oldenburg, Therese was also a member of the House of Holstein-Gottorp and a Duchess of Oldenburg
1816 Jens Adolf Jerichau a Danish sculptor. He belonged to the generation immediately after Bertel Thorvaldsen, for whom he worked briefly in Rome, but gradually moved away from the static Neoclassicism he inherited from him and towards a more dynamic and realistic style.He was a professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and its director from 1857 to 1863
1816 James Harrison (engineer) a Scottish born Australian newspaper printer, journalist, politician, and pioneer in the field of mechanical refrigeration.
1816 Thomas Hazlehurst (chapel builder) known nationally as "the Chapel Builder" and more locally as "the Prince of Methodism" or "the Prince of the Wesleyans". He was given these titles because of his generosity in paying wholly or largely for the building of some 12 chapels and three schools in the area of Runcorn, Widnes and the villages in north Cheshire. His father, also called Thomas, had founded a profitable soap and alkali manufacturing business, Hazlehurst & Sons, in Runcorn in 1816
1817 Rudolf Eitelberger an art historian and the first Ordinarius for art history at the University of Vienna. He is considered as the founder of the Vienna School of Art History
1820 Alexander Cartwright one of several people sometimes referred to as a "father of baseball". Cartwright is thought to be the first person to draw a diagram of a diamond shaped baseball field, and the rules of the modern game are based on the Knickerbocker Rules developed by Cartwright and a committee from his club, the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club. With the myth of Abner Doubleday inventing baseball debunked, Cartwright was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as an executive 46 years after his death. Cartwright was officially declared the inventor of the modern game of baseball by the 83rd United States Congress on June 3, 1953
1833 John Yarker an English Freemason, author, and occultist. He was born in Swindale, Shap, Westmorland, in the north of England. He moved with his parents to Lancashire and on to Manchester in 1849. Ηe was descended from Reinhold Yarker de Laybourne who flourished in the mid seventeenth century
1833 Jean-Baptiste Accolay a Belgian violin teacher, violinist, conductor, and composer of the romantic period. His best-known composition is his one-movement student concerto in A minor. It was written in 1868, originally for violin and orchestra
1833 John C. Caldwell a teacher, a Union general in the American Civil War, and an American diplomat.
1837 J. P. Morgan an American financier, banker, philanthropist and art collector who dominated corporate finance and industrial consolidation during his time. In 1892, Morgan arranged the merger of Edison General Electric and Thomson-Houston Electric Company to form General Electric. After financing the creation of the Federal Steel Company, he merged it in 1901 with the Carnegie Steel Company and several other steel and iron businesses, including Consolidated Steel and Wire Company, owned by William Edenborn, to form the United States Steel Corporation
1838 Princess Antoinette of Saxe-Altenburg the second child of Prince Eduard of Saxe-Altenburg and Princess Amalie of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen.