Born on December 26

1194 Frederick II Holy Roman Emperor one of the most powerful Holy Roman Emperors of the Middle Ages and head of the House of Hohenstaufen. His political and cultural ambitions, based in Sicily and stretching through Italy to Germany, and even to Jerusalem, were enormous; however, his enemies, especially the popes, prevailed, and his dynasty collapsed soon after his death. Historians have searched for superlatives to describe him, as in the case of Professor Donald Detwiler, who wrote:
1350 Jean de Marigny a younger brother of Enguerrand de Marigny.
1446 Charles de Valois Duc de Berry a son of Charles VII, King of France. He spent most of his life in conflict with his elder brother, King Louis XI of France
1524 Victorinus Strigel a Philippist Lutheran Theologian.
1532 Wilhelm Xylander a German classical scholar and humanist.
1536 Yi I one of the two most prominent Korean Confucian scholars of the Joseon Dynasty, the other being his older contemporary, Yi Hwang. Yi I is often referred to by his pen name Yulgok. He is not only known as a scholar but also as a revered politician and reformer. He was academical successor of Jo Gwang-jo
1618 Elisabeth of the Palatinate known for her intelligent and caring nature. She was the eldest daughter of Frederick V, Elector Palatine, who was briefly King of Bohemia, and Elizabeth Stuart. She was born in Heidelberg, Germany, spending the first nine years of her life there. When she was nine, she went to live in Leyden, Holland with her brother and was raised in a nursery palace to complete her studies. After finishing her studies, she was deemed ready to live in The Hague with her mother. Elisabeth was sent back to live in Germany and then eventually took her vows in a Protestant convent at Herford Abbey in Westphalia as Princess-Abbess. She influenced many key figures and philosophers, most notably René Descartes. During her days as head of the Abbey, she provided refuge for many Protestants during a time of great persecution. She is most famous for questioning Descartes' idea of Dualism, or the mind being separate from the body, in addition to questioning his theories regarding communication between the mind and body. The written correspondence of Descartes and Elisabeth is now revered as important philosophical documents, giving insight into the theoretical debates of the 17th century. Elisabeth died in 1680 after suffering from a painful illness for several years
1646 Robert Bolling a wealthy early American settler planter and merchant. His Mother was Mary Carie, his father was John Bolling born 1615. He was named after his Grandfather Robert Bolling, his Grandmother was Anne Clarke
1671 Philipp Ludwig Wenzel von Sinzendorf an Austrian diplomat and Court Chancellor.
1682 Calico Jack an English pirate captain operating in the Bahamas and in Cuba during the early 18th century. His nickname derived from the calico clothing he wore, while Jack is a diminutive of "John."
1687 Johann Georg Pisendel a German Baroque musician, violinist and composer who, for many years, led the Court Orchestra in Dresden, then the finest instrumental ensemble in Europe.
1716 Jean François de Saint-Lambert a French poet, philosopher and military officer.
1716 Thomas Gray an English poet, letter-writer, classical scholar and professor at Cambridge University. He is widely known for his Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, published in 1751
1723 Friedrich Melchior Baron von Grimm a German-born French-language journalist, art critic, diplomat and contributor to the Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers. In 1765 Grimm wrote Poème lyrique, an influential article for the Encyclopédie on lyric and opera librettos. Like Christoph Willibald Gluck Grimm became interested in opera reform. According to Martin Fontius, a German literary theorist, "sooner or later a book entitled The Aestatic ideas of Grimm will have to be written
1734 George Romney (painter) an English portrait painter. He was the most fashionable artist of his day, painting many leading society figures - including his artistic muse, Emma Hamilton, mistress of Lord Nelson
1737 Prince Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld a general in the Austrian service.
1742 Ignaz von Born a mineralogist and metallurgist. He was a prominent Free Mason, head of Vienna's Illuminati lodge and an influential anti-clerical writer. He was the leading scientist in the Holy Roman Empire during the 1770s in the age of Enlightenment
1751 Clemens Maria Hofbauer a hermit and later a priest of the Redemptorist congregation. He is considered a co-founder of the congregation and is a patron saint of Vienna
1756 Bernard Germain de Lacépède a French naturalist.
1762 Franz Tausch a German clarinetist, teacher and composer. He played in the Mannheim orchestra. One of his students was Heinrich Baermann
1769 Ernst Moritz Arndt a German patriotic author and poet. Early in his life, he fought for the abolition of serfdom, later against Napoleonic dominance over Germany, and had to flee to Sweden for some time due to his anti-French positions. He is one of the main founders of German nationalism and the movement for German unification. After the Carlsbad Decrees, the forces of the restoration counted him as a demagogue and he was only rehabilitated in 1840
1770 Pierre Cambronne a General of the French Empire. He fought during the wars of the Revolution and the Napoleonic Era. He was wounded at the Battle of Waterloo
1771 Julie Clary Queen consort of Spain and the Indies, Naples and Sicily as the spouse of King Joseph Bonaparte, who was King of Naples and Sicily from January 1806 to June 1808, and later King of Spain and the Spanish West Indies from 25 June 1808 to June 1813.
1776 Charles Hamilton Smith an English artist, naturalist, antiquary, illustrator, soldier, and spy.
1777 Louis II Grand Duke of Hesse Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine from 1830 until 5 March 1848. He was the son of Louis I, Grand Duke of Hesse
1780 Mary Somerville a Scottish science writer and polymath, at a time when women's participation in science was discouraged. She studied mathematics and astronomy, and was nominated to be jointly the first female member of the Royal Astronomical Society at the same time as Caroline Herschel
1782 Philaret Drozdov Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomna and the most influential figure in the Russian Orthodox Church for more than 40 years, from 1821 to 1867.
1784 Antoni Brodowski a Polish Neo-classicist painter and pedagogue. Brodowski was born in Warsaw but moved to Paris to study under Jean Augustin and Jacques-Louis David, later Brodowski's idol. He also became a pupil of Anne-Louis Girodet and François Gérard. His compositions are very large-scale with many figures, and often based on themes from Antiquity. Brodowski is also well known for his decorative paintings within palaces and theatres in Warsaw
1785 Étienne Constantin de Gerlache a lawyer and politician in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, and later became in 1831 the first Prime Minister of the newly founded Belgian state.
1791 Charles Babbage an English polymath. A mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer, Babbage is best remembered for originating the concept of a programmable computer
1801 Charles Combes a French engineer. He was Inspector-General of Mines and the Director of the School of Mines in Paris. His name is on the Eiffel Tower
1803 Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald considered to be the father of the national literature for the country.
1815 Israel B. Richardson a United States Army officer during the Mexican-American War and American Civil War, where he was a major general in the Union Army. Nicknamed "Fighting Dick" for his prowess on the battlefield, he was mortally wounded at the Battle of Antietam near Sharpsburg, Maryland
1816 Wilhelm Gerhard Walpers a German botanist. This botanist is denoted by the author abbreviation Walp. when citing a botanical name
1816 John McClannahan Crockett a Texan lawyer, mayor of Dallas, and the eighth Lieutenant Governor of Texas. A South Carolina native, Crockett moved to Texas in 1847. He became the second mayor of Dallas, and the eighth Lieutenant Governor of Texas from 1861–1863
1819 E. D. E. N. Southworth an American writer of more than 60 novels in the latter part of the 19th century.
1820 Dion Boucicault an Irish actor and playwright famed for his melodramas. By the later part of the 19th century, Boucicault had become known on both sides of the Atlantic as one of the most successful actor-playwright-managers then in the English-speaking theatre. The New York Times heralded him in his obituary as "the most conspicuous English dramatist of the 19th century."
1823 John Elliott Cairnes an Irish economist. He is often described as the "last of the classical economists"
1825 Felix Hoppe-Seyler a German physiologist and chemist, and the principal founder of the disciplines of biochemistry, physiological chemistry and molecular biology.
1827 Étienne Léopold Trouvelot a French artist, astronomer and amateur entomologist. He is most noted for the unfortunate introduction of the Gypsy Moth into North America
1835 Giovanni Canestrini an Italian naturalist and biologist who was a native of Revò.
1837 George Dewey Admiral of the Navy, the only person in U.S. history to have attained the rank. Admiral Dewey is best known for his victory at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War
1837 Morgan Bulkeley an American politician as well as business and sports executive. Bulkeley, a Republican, served in the American Civil War, was a Hartford city councilman and bank president, was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame as the first president of the National League, and became a four-term mayor of Hartford, the 54th Governor of Connecticut for two terms and a United States Senator while serving as the third president of the Aetna Life Insurance Company for 43 years
1838 William Winwood Reade a British historian, explorer, and philosopher. His two best-known books, The Martyrdom of Man and The Outcast , were included in the Thinker's Library
1845 Nikolai Zlatovratsky a Russian writer.
1851 Melchior Treub a Dutch botanist.
1853 Maggie Hall a prostitute originally from Dublin, Ireland in early Murray, Idaho history.
1853 Wilhelm Dörpfeld a German architect and archaeologist, a pioneer of stratigraphic excavation and precise graphical documentation of archaeological projects. He is famous for his work on Bronze Age sites around the Mediterranean, such as Tiryns and Hisarlik where he continued Heinrich Schliemann's excavations. Like Schliemann, Dörpfeld was an advocate of the historical reality of places mentioned in the works of Homer. While the details of his claims regarding locations mentioned in Homer's writings are not considered accurate by later archaeologists, his fundamental idea that they correspond to real places is accepted. Thus, his work greatly contributed not only to scientific techniques and study of these historically significant sites but also renewed public interest in the culture and mythology of ancient Greece
1853 René Bazin a French novelist.
1859 Sen Katayama an early member of the American Communist Party and co-founder, in 1922, of the Japan Communist Party.