Born on December 18

1392 John VIII Palaiologos the penultimate reigning Byzantine Emperor, ruling from 1425 to 1448.
1507 Ōuchi Yoshitaka a daimyo of Suō Province and a son of Ōuchi Yoshioki.
1567 Cornelius a Lapide a Flemish Jesuit and exegete.
1575 Michelagnolo Galilei an Italian composer and lutenist of the late Renaissance and early Baroque eras, active mainly in Bavaria and Poland. He was the son of music theorist and lutenist Vincenzo Galilei, and the younger brother of the renowned astronomer Galileo Galilei
1602 Simonds d'Ewes an antiquary and politician. He was bred for the bar, was a member of the Long Parliament and left notes on its transactions. d'Ewes took the Puritan side in the Civil War. His Journal of all the Parliaments of Elizabeth is of value; he left an Autobiography and Correspondence
1610 Charles du Fresne sieur du Cange a distinguished philologist and historian of the Middle Ages and Byzantium.
1620 Heinrich Roth a missionary and pioneering Sanskrit scholar.
1626 Christina Queen of Sweden Queen regnant of Sweden from 1633 to 1654, using the titles of Queen of Swedes, Goths, and Vandals, Grand Princess of Finland, and Duchess of Ingria, Estonia, Livonia and Karelia. She was the only surviving legitimate child of King Gustav II Adolph and his wife Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg. As the heiress presumptive, at the age of six she succeeded her father on the throne of Sweden upon his death at the Battle of Lützen. Being the daughter of a Protestant champion in the Thirty Years' War, she caused a scandal when she abdicated her throne and converted to Roman Catholicism in 1654. She spent her later years in Rome, becoming a leader of the theatrical and musical life there. As a queen without a country, she protected many artists and projects. She is one of the few women buried in the Vatican grotto
1633 Willem van de Velde the Younger a Dutch marine painter.
1639 Gottfried Kirch a German astronomer and the first 'Astronomer Royal' in Berlin and, as such, director of the nascent Berlin Observatory.
1661 Christopher Polhem a Swedish scientist, inventor and industrialist. He made significant contributions to the economic and industrial development of Sweden, particularly mining
1662 James Douglas 2nd Duke of Queensberry a Scottish nobleman.
1707 Charles Wesley an English leader of the Methodist movement, son of Anglican clergyman and poet Samuel Wesley, the younger brother of Methodist founder John Wesley and Anglican clergyman Samuel Wesley the Younger. He was father of musician Samuel Wesley and grandfather of musician Samuel Sebastian Wesley. Despite their closeness, Charles and his brother John did not always agree on questions relating to their beliefs. In particular, Charles was strongly opposed to the idea of a breach with the Church of England into which they had both been ordained. Charles Wesley is mostly remembered for the over 6,000 hymns he wrote. He ministered for part of his life in The New Room Chapel in Bristol. His house, located nearby, can still be visited
1714 Nikolaus I Prince Esterházy a Hungarian prince, a member of the famous Esterházy family. His building of palaces, extravagant clothing, and taste for opera and other grand musical productions led to his being given the title "the Magnificent". He is remembered as the principal employer of the composer Joseph Haydn
1718 Grand Duchess Anna Leopoldovna of Russia also known as Anna Karlovna , regent of Russia for a few months during the minority of her baby son Ivan. She was the daughter of Tsarevna Catherine of Russia and of Charles Leopold, the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and born as Elisabeth Katharina Christine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
1723 Friedrich Karl von Moser a German jurist, state journalist and a politician.
1724 Louise of Great Britain Queen of Denmark and Norway from 1746 until her death, as the first wife of King Frederick She was the youngest surviving daughter of George II of Great Britain and Caroline of Ansbach.
1725 Johann Salomo Semler a German church historian, biblical commentator, and critic of ecclesiastical documents and of the history of dogmas. Sometimes known as "the father of German rationalism"
1734 Jean-Baptiste Rey a French conductor and composer.
1736 Margravine Friederike of Brandenburg-Schwedt Duchess of Württemberg and ancestor to many European royals of the 19th and 20th century.
1741 Maximilien Gardel a French ballet dancer and choreographer of German descent. He was the son of Claude Gardel, ballet master to king Stanisław Leszczyński, and elder brother of Pierre Gardel
1747 Barthélemy Louis Joseph Schérer born in Delle, near Belfort, became a French general during the French Revolutionary Wars and on three occasions led armies in battle.
1768 Marie-Guillemine Benoist a French neoclassical, historical and genre painter.
1768 Ludwig-Wilhelm Tepper de Ferguson a Polish–Russian musician and composer, a music teacher mainly associated with the Imperial Lycée in Tsarskoye Selo.
1777 Juan Martín de Pueyrredón an Argentine general and politician of the early 19th century. He was appointed Supreme Director of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata after the Argentine Declaration of Independence
1778 Joseph Grimaldi an English actor, comedian and dancer, who became the most popular English entertainer of the Regency era. In the early 1800s, he expanded the role of Clown in the harlequinade that formed part of British pantomimes, notably at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and the Sadler's Wells and Covent Garden theatres. He became so dominant on the London comic stage that harlequinade clowns became known as "Joey", and both the nickname and Grimaldi's whiteface make-up design were, and still are, used by other types of clowns. Grimaldi originated catchphrases such as "Here we are again!", which continue to feature in modern pantomimes
1790 Jules Germain Cloquet a French physician and surgeon who was born and practiced medicine in Paris. His older brother, Hippolyte Cloquet , was also a physician. In 1821 Jules Cloquet became one of the earliest members elected to the Académie Nationale de Médecine in Paris
1803 John Hemphill (senator) Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, and a United States Senator.
1816 Ernst von Ballion a Russian entomologist who specialised in Coleoptera, especially Tenebrionidae.
1818 František Ladislav Rieger a Czech politician and publicist made famous for his leadership of the early Czech nationalist movement.
1819 Yakov Polonsky a leading Pushkinist poet who tried to uphold the waning traditions of Russian Romantic poetry during the heyday of realistic prose.
1820 Karl Becker (painter) a German history painter and president of the Berlin Academy.
1821 Evgraf Semenovich Sorokin a Russian artist and teacher, a master of historical, religious and genre paintings.
1824 John Hall (New Zealand politician) born in Kingston upon Hull, England, the third son of George Hall, a Captain in the navy. At the age of ten he was sent to school in Switzerland and his education continued in Paris and Hamburg. After returning to England and being employed by the Post Office, at the age of 27 he decided to emigrate, later becoming the 12th Prime Minister of New Zealand. He was also Mayor of Christchurch
1825 Charles Griffin a career officer in the United States Army and a Union general in the American Civil War. He rose to command a corps in the Army of the Potomac and fought in many of the key campaigns in the Eastern Theater
1825 John S. Harris an American politician for the state of Louisiana and member of the Republican Party. Born in Truxton, New York, Harris was a delegate to the Louisiana state constitutional convention in 1868. He was a member of Louisiana State Senate in 1868 and the first Republican U.S. Senator from Louisiana, having served from 1868 to 1871. Harris was buried at Forestvale Cemetery in Helena, Montana
1826 Mariano Ignacio Prado twice the President of Peru, from 1865 to 1868 and 1876 to 1879.
1826 Theodor von Sickel a German-Austrian historian born in Aken, Province of Saxony, Kingdom of Prussia. He specialized in early European medieval history, and is considered to be the founder of modern diplomatics
1826 Alexandre Chatrian a French writer, associated with the region of Alsace-Lorraine. Almost all of his works were written jointly with Émile Erckmann under the name Erckmann-Chatrian
1829 Prince Wilhelm of Baden (1829–1897) a Prussian general and politician. He was the father of Prince Maximilian of Baden, the last Minister President of the Kingdom of Prussia and last Chancellor of the German Empire. Wilhelm was a Prince of Baden and a member of the House of Zähringen
1835 George Dashiell Bayard a career soldier in the United States Army and a general in the Union Army in the American Civil War. He was wounded in the Battle of Fredericksburg and died the next day
1835 Charles Chanoine a French military officer who played an important role in the Far East, and later became Minister of War.
1835 Lyman Abbott an American Congregationalist theologian, editor, and author.
1835 William Frederick Yeames a British painter best known for his oil-on-canvas problem picture 'And When Did You Last See Your Father?' , which depicts the son of a Royalist being questioned by Parliamentarians during the English Civil War.
1839 Théodule-Armand Ribot born at Guingamp, and was educated at the Lycée de St Brieuc. He is known for Ribot's Law regarding retrograde amnesia
1844 Lujo Brentano an eminent German economist and social reformer.
1845 Nikola Pašić a Serbian and Yugoslav politician and diplomat who was the most important Serbian political figure for almost 40 years, leader of the People's Radical Party who, among other posts, was twice a mayor of Belgrade several times Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Serbia and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
1847 Augusta Holmès a French composer of Irish descent. At first she published under the pseudonym Hermann Zenta. In 1871, Holmès became a French citizen and added the accent to her last name. She herself wrote the lyrics to almost all her songs and oratorios, as well as the libretto of the opera La Montagne Noire
1848 Spiridon Drozhzhin a Russian/Soviet poet.
1849 Henrietta Edwards a Canadian women's rights activist and reformer.