Born on April 26

121 Marcus Aurelius Roman Emperor from 161 to 180. He ruled with Lucius Verus as co-emperor from 161 until Verus' death in 169. He was the last of the Five Good Emperors, and is also considered one of the most important Stoic philosophers
1538 Gian Paolo Lomazzo an Italian painter, best remembered for his writings on art theory, belonging to the second generation that produced Mannerism in Italian art and architecture.
1564 Shakespeare's influence William Shakespeare's influence extends from theatre and literature to present-day movies and the English language itself. Widely regarded as the greatest writer of the English language, and the world's pre-eminent dramatist, Shakespeare transformed European theatre by expanding expectations about what could be accomplished through characterization, plot, language and genre. Shakespeare's writings have also impacted a large number of notable novelists and poets over the years, including Herman Melville and Charles Dickens, and continue to influence new authors even today. Shakespeare is the most quoted writer in the history of the English-speaking world after the various writers of the Bible, and many of his quotations and neologisms have passed into everyday usage in English and other languages
1564 William Shakespeare an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His extant works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, the authorship of some of which is uncertain. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright
1573 Marie de' Medici Queen of France as the second wife of King Henry IV of France, of the House of Bourbon. She herself was a member of the wealthy and powerful House of Medici. Following the assassination of her husband in 1610, which occurred the day after her coronation, she acted as regent for her son, King Louis XIII of France, until he came of age. She was noted for her ceaseless political intrigues at the French court and extensive artistic patronage
1577 Countess Elisabeth of Nassau the second daughter of prince William of Orange and his third spouse Charlotte of Bourbon. She was Duchess of Bouillon by marriage
1587 Ferdinando Gonzaga Duke of Mantua Duke of Mantua and Duke of Montferrat from 1612 until his death.
1648 Peter II of Portugal Regent and King of Portugal and the Algarves. He was sometimes known as o Pacífico, "the Pacific"
1655 Rinaldo d'Este (1655–1737) Duke of Modena and Reggio from 1695 until his death. He was succeeded by his son
1662 Francisco Bances Candamo a playwright of the Spanish Golden Age.
1696 Michał Fryderyk Czartoryski a Polish nobleman, Duke of Klewań and Żuków, magnate, Knight of the Order of the White Eagle since 1726. Co-founder and leader of the "Familia"
1697 Adam Falckenhagen a German lutenist and composer of the Baroque period.
1707 Johannes Burman a Dutch botanist and physician. Burman specialized in plants from Ceylon, Amboina and Cape Colony. The name Pelargonium was introduced by Johannes Burman
1710 Thomas Reid a religiously trained Scottish philosopher, a contemporary of David Hume as well as "Hume's earliest and fiercest critic." He was the founder of the Scottish School of Common Sense and played an integral role in the Scottish Enlightenment. The early part of his life was spent in Aberdeen and he graduated from the University of Aberdeen. He began his career as a Minister of the Church of Scotland but ceased to be a Minister when he was given a professorship at King's College, Aberdeen in 1752. He obtained his doctorate and wrote An Inquiry Into the Human Mind on the Principles of Common Sense. He and his colleagues founded the 'Aberdeen Philosophical Society' which was popularly known as the 'Wise Club'. Shortly after the publication of his first book, he was given the prestigious Professorship of Moral Philosophy at the University of Glasgow when he was called to replace Adam Smith. He resigned from this position in 1781, after which he prepared his university lectures for publication in two books: Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man and Essays on the Active Powers of the Human Mind. Reid was buried at Blackfriars Church in the grounds of Glasgow College and when the university moved to Gilmorehill in the west of Glasgow, his tombstone was inserted in the main building. See separate article on Thomas Reid's tombstone
1711 Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont a French author who wrote the best known version of Beauty and the Beast. She had a relationship with the spy for the British Thomas Pichon
1718 Esek Hopkins the only Commander in Chief of the Continental Navy during the American Revolutionary War. He was also an accomplished merchant captain and privateer
1721 Prince William Duke of Cumberland the third and youngest son of George II of Great Britain and Caroline of Ansbach, and Duke of Cumberland from 1726. He is generally best remembered for his role in putting down the Jacobite Rising at the Battle of Culloden in 1746, which success made him immensely popular throughout Britain. At present, however, he is regularly referred to by the nickname given to him by his English Tory opponents: "Butcher" Cumberland. Despite Culloden, he had a largely unsuccessful military career, and following the Convention of Klosterzeven in 1757, he never held active military command, and switched his attentions to politics and horse racing
1727 Charles Jenkinson 1st Earl of Liverpool a British statesman. He was the father of Prime Minister Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool
1730 John Moore (archbishop of Canterbury) Archbishop of Canterbury in the Church of England.
1740 Jean-Jacques Paulet a French mycologist.
1745 Johann Anton Güldenstädt a Baltic German naturalist and explorer in Russian service.
1764 Joseph-Jacques Ramée a French architect, interior designer, and landscape architect working within the neoclassicist idiom.
1765 Emma Lady Hamilton best remembered as the mistress of Lord Nelson and as the muse of George Romney. She was born Amy Lyon in Ness near Neston, Cheshire, England, the daughter of Henry Lyon, a blacksmith who died when she was two months old. She was raised by her mother, the former Mary Kidd, at Hawarden, and received no formal education. She later changed her name to Emma Hart
1774 Anne Jean Marie René Savary born at Marcq in the Ardennes.
1774 Christian Leopold von Buch remembered as one of the most important contributors to geology in the first half of the nineteenth century. His scientific interest was devoted to a broad spectrum of geological topics: volcanism, fossils, stratigraphy and more. His most remembered accomplishment is the scientific definition of the jurassic system
1780 Gotthilf Heinrich von Schubert a German physician and naturalist.
1782 Maria Amalia of Naples and Sicily French queen as the wife of Louis Philippe I.
1785 John James Audubon an American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter. He was notable for his expansive studies to document all types of American birds and for his detailed illustrations that depicted the birds in their natural habitats. His major work, a color-plate book entitled The Birds of America , is considered one of the finest ornithological works ever completed. Audubon identified 25 new species
1786 Louis de Potter a Belgian journalist who became a famous politician and literature author. Out of the more than 100 books and pamphlets, one of the most notable works was his famous Letter to my fellow citizens in which he promoted more democracy, universal electoral rights and the Belgian unity of strengths between liberals and Catholics. As one of the heroes of the Belgian revolution, he proclaimed the independence of Belgium from the Netherlands , and inaugurated the first Belgian parliamentary assembly , on behalf of the Belgian provisional government
1787 Ludwig Uhland a German poet, philologist and literary historian.
1789 Matthias Numsen Blytt a Norwegian botanist.
1793 Nicolas Anne Théodule Changarnier born at Autun, Saône-et-Loire.
1796 Auguste Mathieu Panseron a French composer and voice teacher.
1798 Eugène Delacroix a French Romantic artist regarded from the outset of his career as the leader of the French Romantic school. Delacroix's use of expressive brushstrokes and his study of the optical effects of colour profoundly shaped the work of the Impressionists, while his passion for the exotic inspired the artists of the Symbolist movement. A fine lithographer, Delacroix illustrated various works of William Shakespeare, the Scottish writer Walter Scott and the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
1801 Ambrose Dudley Mann the first United States Assistant Secretary of State and a commissioner for the Confederate States.
1804 Charles Goodyear (politician) a United States Representative from New York.
1807 Charles Auguste Frossard a French general.
1820 Ivan Shestakov a Russian statesman, writer, and admiral.
1821 Robert Adamson (photographer) a Scottish chemist and pioneer photographer at Hill & Adamson. He is best known for his pioneering photographic work with David Octavius Hill and producing some 2500 calotypes, mostly portraits, within 5 years after being hired by Hill in 1843, before his life was cut short
1822 Princess Maria Carolina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (1822–1869) a Princess of Bourbon-Two Sicilies by birth and a princess of the House of Orléans through her marriage to Prince Henry of Orléans, Duke of Aumale. Maria Carolina was the daughter of Prince Leopold of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Prince of Salerno and his wife Archduchess Maria Clementina of Austria, daughter of Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor
1822 Frederick Law Olmsted an American landscape architect, journalist, social critic, and public administrator. He is popularly considered to be the father of American landscape architecture, although many scholars have bestowed that title upon Andrew Jackson Downing. Olmsted was famous for co-designing many well-known urban parks with his senior partner Calvert Vaux, including Central Park and Prospect Park in New York City, as well as Elm Park , considered by many to be the first municipal park in America
1826 Ambrose R. Wright a lawyer, Georgia politician, and Confederate general in the American Civil War.
1826 Dinah Craik an English novelist and poet.
1826 George Hull Ward a soldier and Union officer in the American Civil War.
1829 Grigory Danilevsky a Ukrainian and Russian historical novelist.
1829 Theodor Billroth a Prussian-born Austrian surgeon and amateur musician.
1832 Carl Ludvig Gerlach a Danish composer and opera singer.
1834 Hugo Schiff a Italian naturalized chemist, German by nationality. He discovered Schiff bases and other imines, and was responsible for research into aldehydes; leading to his development of the Schiff test. He also worked in the field of amino acids and the Biuret reagent
1834 Vladimir Betz a Ukrainian anatomist and histologist, professor of the Kiev University , famous for the discovery of giant pyramidal neurons of primary motor cortex.
1834 Charles Farrar Browne a United States humor writer, better known under his nom de plume, Artemus Ward. At birth, his surname was "Brown." He added the "e" after he became famous