Born on December 31

45 Quintus Fabius Maximus a general and politician of the late Roman Republic who became suffect consul in 45 BC.
695 Muhammad bin Qasim an Umayyad general who conquered the Sindh and Multan regions along the Indus River for the Umayyad Caliphate. He was born and raised in the city of Taif. Qasim's conquest of Sindh and southern-most parts of Multan enabled further Islamic expansion into India
1135 Henry of Groitzsch the second son of Wiprecht of Groitzsch and Judith, daughter of Vratislaus II of Bohemia. He succeeded his father as burggrave of Magdeburg in 1124
1378 Pope Callixtus III Pope from 8 April 1455 to his death in 1458. He was the last pope to take the name "Callixtus" upon his election
1491 Jacques Cartier now Canada for France. Jacques Cartier was the first European to describe and map the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the shores of the Saint Lawrence River, which he named "The Country of Canadas", after the Iroquois names for the two big settlements he saw at Stadacona and at Hochelaga
1493 Eleonora Gonzaga Duchess of Urbino the eldest of the seven children of Francesco II Gonzaga, Marquess of Mantua, and Isabella d'Este. Her father was a notorious libertine, her mother a famous patroness of the arts. On 25 September 1509 she married Francesco Maria I della Rovere, duke of Urbino, son of Giovanni della Rovere, duca di Sora e Senegaglia, and Giovanna da Montefeltro, and nephew of Pope Julius Their two sons and three daughters would all have progeny
1504 Beatrice of Portugal Duchess of Savoy Duchess of Savoy by marriage.
1514 Andreas Vesalius a Brabantian anatomist, physician, and author of one of the most influential books on human anatomy, De humani corporis fabrica. Vesalius is often referred to as the founder of modern human anatomy. He was professor at the University of Padua and later became Imperial physician at the court of Emperor Charles V
1550 Henry I Duke of Guise the eldest son of Francis, Duke of Guise, and Anna d'Este. His maternal grandparents were Ercole II d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, and Renée of France. Through his maternal grandfather, he was a descendant of Lucrezia Borgia and Pope Alexander VI
1552 Simon Forman an Elizabethan astrologer, occultist and herbalist active in London during the reigns of Queen Elizabeth I and James I of England. His reputation, however, was severely tarnished after his death when he was implicated in the plot to kill Sir Thomas Overbury. Writers from Ben Jonson to Nathaniel Hawthorne came to characterize him as either as a fool or an evil magician in league with the devil
1571 Emperor Go-Yōzei the 107th Emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.
1585 Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba (1585–1645) a Spanish military leader during the Eighty Years' War, Thirty Years' War and the War of the Mantuan Succession.
1586 Duchess Magdalene Sibylle of Prussia an Electress of Saxony as the spouse of John George I, Elector of Saxony.
1632 Abbas II of Persia Shah of Persia from 1642 to 1666. He was the seventh Shah of the Safavid Dynasty
1668 Herman Boerhaave a Dutch botanist, Christian humanist and physician of European fame. He is regarded as the founder of clinical teaching and of the modern academic hospital and is sometimes referred to as "the father of physiology," along with his pupil Albrecht von Haller. He is best known for demonstrating the relation of symptoms to lesions and, in addition, he was the first to isolate the chemical urea from urine. His motto was Simplex sigillum veri; Simplicity is the sign of truth
1682 Kasper Niesiecki a Polish heraldist, Jesuit, lexicographer, writer, theologian and preacher.
1704 Carl Gotthelf Gerlach a German organist, who took over the Leipzig Collegium Musicum from Johann Sebastian Bach between 1737 and 1739.
1714 Arima Yoriyuki a Japanese mathematician of the Edo period. He was the lord of Kurume Domain and approximated the value of and its square,. In 1766, he found the following rational approximation of pi, correct to 29 digits:
1720 Charles Edward Stuart the second Jacobite pretender to the thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland. This claim was as the eldest son of James Francis Edward Stuart, himself the son of James II of England. Charles is perhaps best known as the instigator of the unsuccessful Jacobite uprising of 1745, in which he led an insurrection to restore his family to the throne of the Kingdom of Great Britain, which ended in defeat at the Battle of Culloden that effectively ended the Jacobite cause. Charles's flight from Scotland after the uprising has rendered him a romantic figure of heroic failure in some later representations. In 1759 he was involved in a French plan to invade Britain which was abandoned following British naval victories
1729 Johann Gottlieb Georgi a German botanist, naturalist and geographer.
1738 Johann Hermann a French physician and naturalist.
1738 William Medows an Englishman and a general in the British Army.
1738 Charles Cornwallis 1st Marquess Cornwallis a British Army officer and colonial administrator. In the United States and the United Kingdom he is best remembered as one of the leading British generals in the American War of Independence. His surrender in 1781 to a combined American and French force at the Siege of Yorktown ended significant hostilities in North America. He also served as a civil and military governor in Ireland and India; in both places he brought about significant changes, including the Act of Union in Ireland, and the Cornwallis Code and the Permanent Settlement in India
1741 Princess Isabella of Parma the daughter of Infante Felipe of Spain, Duke of Parma and his wife Louise Elisabeth, eldest daughter of Louis XV of France and Maria Leszczyńska. Her paternal grandparents were Philip V of Spain and his second wife, Elisabeth of Parma
1747 Gottfried August Bürger a German poet. His ballads were very popular in Germany. His most noted ballad, Lenore, found an audience beyond readers of the German language in an English adaptation and a French translation
1751 Johann Baptist von Lampi the Elder an Austrian-Italian historical and portrait painter. He settled in the Russian Empire after the third and final partition of Poland, enticed by an extremely generous offer from the Tsar
1763 Pierre-Charles Villeneuve a French naval officer during the Napoleonic Wars. He was in command of the French and the Spanish fleets that were defeated by Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar
1773 Joseph Droz a French writer on ethics, political science and political economy.
1776 Johann Spurzheim a German physician who became one of the chief proponents of phrenology, which was developed 1800 by Franz Joseph Gall.
1783 Józef Sylwester Sosnowski a Polish-Lithuanian magnate — Voivode of Smolensk and Połock , Grand Notary of Lithuania , Field Notary of Lithuania , Field Hetman of Lithuania , a delegate to the Convocation Sejm of 1764, and Marshall of the Electoral Sejm of 1764.
1785 Antoni Paweł Sułkowski a Polish division general and later overall commander of the armed forces of the Duchy of Warsaw.
1790 Antonie Adamberger an Austrian stage actress.
1796 John Edwards Holbrook an American zoologist, herpetologist, physician, and naturalist, born in Beaufort, South Carolina, the son of Silas Holbrook, a teacher, and Mary Edwards. Although Holbrook's memoir, written by his medical partner, and his tombstone both give the date 1794 for his birth, this is incorrect. Holbrook received his A.B. degree from Brown University in 1815, and his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1818. In 1827, he married Harriott Pinckney Rutledge, a member of one of South Carolina's most prominent families
1798 Friedrich Robert Faehlmann an Estonian writer, physician and philologist active in Livonia, Russian Empire. He was a co-founder of the Learned Estonian Society at the University of Dorpat and its chairman
1803 José María Heredia y Heredia a Cuban poet, born at Santiago de Cuba.
1805 Marie d'Agoult a French author, known also by her pen name, Daniel Stern.
1812 Ismael Urbain a French journalist and interpreter.
1813 Edward August Bond an English scientist. He was born on December 31, 1813 in Hanwell, near London. Since 1838 Bond worked in British Museum and in 1878 he became a chief librarian. The museum is indebted to him for its perfect structure, especially in the Manuscripts Department. Besides the excellent subject catalogues and articles in scientific publications, Bond published "Of the Russe Common Wealth" by Giles Fletcher the Elder , "Travels" by Jeremias Horsey , "Chronicon Abbatiae de Melsa" and others. In 1870 Bond together with his colleague, Edward Maunde Thompson, established a Palaeographic Society. They both published for it many facsimiles of ancient manuscripts and inscriptions
1814 Jules Simon a French statesman and philosopher, and one of the leader of the Opportunist Republicans faction.
1815 George Meade a career United States Army officer and civil engineer involved in coastal construction, including several lighthouses. He fought with distinction in the Second Seminole War and the Mexican-American War. During the American Civil War he served as a Union general, rising from command of a brigade to the Army of the Potomac. He is best known for defeating Confederate General Robert Lee at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863
1817 Franz von Seitz a German painter, lithographer, engraver and costume designer as well as an art teacher and theatre director.
1817 James Thomas Fields an American publisher, editor, and poet.
1827 Marie Caroline Miolan-Carvalho a famed French operatic soprano, particularly associated with light lyric and coloratura roles.
1827 William Carrick a Scottish-Russian artist and photographer. The son of a timber merchant, Andrew Carrick , and Jessie née Lauder, he was born in Edinburgh on 23 December 1827. Only a few weeks old, the Carrick family took William with them to the port of Kronstadt in the Gulf of Finland. Andrew had been trading with this port for some time, and the family would stay there for 16 years
1828 Fitz James O'Brien often considered a forerunner of today's science fiction.
1828 Mary Sumner the founder of the Mothers' Union, a worldwide Anglican women's organisation. She is commemorated in a number of provinces of the Anglican Communion on 9 August
1829 Alexander Smith (poet) a Scottish poet, labelled as one of the Spasmodic School, and essayist.
1830 Isma'il Pasha the Khedive of Egypt and Sudan from 1863 to 1879, when he was removed at the behest of the United Kingdom. Sharing the ambitious outlook of his grandfather, Muhammad Ali Pasha, he greatly modernized Egypt and Sudan during his reign, investing heavily in industrial and economic development, urbanisation, and the expansion of the country's boundaries in Africa
1832 Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Rümker a German astronomer.
1835 Hugh Nelson (Australian politician) Premier of Queensland from 1893 to 1898.