Born on December 9

638 Sergius I of Constantinople the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 610 to 638. He is most famous for promoting Monothelite Christianity, especially through the Ecthesis
1268 Vaišvilkas the Grand Duke of Lithuania. He was son of Mindaugas, the first and only King of Lithuania
1392 Peter Duke of Coimbra a Portuguese infante of the House of Aviz, son of King John I of Portugal and his wife Philippa of Lancaster, daughter of John of Gaunt. In Portugal he is better known as Infante Pedro das Sete Partidas , "of the Seven Parts " because of his travels. Possibly the most well-travelled prince of his time, he was regent between 1439 and 1448. He was also 1st Lord of Montemor-o-Velho, Aveiro, Tentúgal, Cernache, Pereira, Condeixa and Lousã
1447 Chenghua Emperor Emperor of the Ming dynasty in China, between 1464 and 1487. His era name means "Accomplished change"
1482 Frederick II Elector Palatine Prince-elector of the Palatinate from 1544 to 1556.
1508 Gemma Frisius a physician, mathematician, cartographer, philosopher, and instrument maker. He created important globes, improved the mathematical instruments of his day and applied mathematics in new ways to surveying and navigation
1531 Şehzade Cihangir the sixth and youngest child of Hürrem Sultan and the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. From birth, he had many problems of health and developed a deformity. He was very well educated and said to be one of the cleverest of his siblings and half-siblings. Reports suggest he later died of "grief" at the news of the execution of his half-brother, Mustafa, ordered by his father, Sultan Suleiman
1561 Edwin Sandys (died 1629) an English politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1589 and 1626. He was also one of the founders of the proprietary Virginia Company of London, which in 1606 established the first permanent English settlement in what is now the United States in the colony of Virginia, based at Jamestown
1571 Metius a Dutch geometer and astronomer. He was born in Alkmaar. The name Metius comes from the Dutch word meten , and therefore means something like "measurer" or "surveyor."
1576 John Lowin an English actor.
1579 Martin de Porres O.P. was a lay brother of the Dominican Order who was beatified in 1837 by Pope Gregory XVI and canonized in 1962 by Pope John XXIII. He is the patron saint of mixed-race people and all those seeking interracial harmony
1594 Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden credited as the founder of Sweden as a Great Power. He led Sweden to military supremacy during the Thirty Years War, helping to determine the political as well as the religious balance of power in Europe
1608 John Milton an English poet, polemicist, man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell. He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval, and is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost , written in blank verse
1610 Baldassare Ferri an Italian castrato singer. He is said to have possessed "extraordinary endurance of breath, flexibility of voice and depth of emotion"
1631 Dymitr Jerzy Wiśniowiecki a Polish magnate and szlachcic. Great Guard of the Crown from 1658, Field Hetman of the Crown from 1668, Great Crown Hetman from 1676, voivode of Belz 1660–1678 and Kraków 1678–1681, and castellan of Kraków from 1681. He was starost of Biala Cerkiew, Krzemieniec, Solec, Kamionka Strumilowa, Braha and Luboml
1652 Augustus Quirinus Rivinus also known as August Bachmann or Q. Bachmann, was a German physician and botanist who helped to develop better ways of classifying plants
1667 William Whiston an English theologian, historian, and mathematician, a leading figure in the popularisation of the ideas of Isaac Newton. He is now probably best known for his translation of the Antiquities of the Jews and other works by Josephus, his A New Theory of the Earth, and his Arianism
1715 Joseph Marie Terray a Controller-General of Finances during the reign of Louis XV of France, an agent of fiscal reform.
1717 Johann Joachim Winckelmann a German art historian and archaeologist. He was a pioneering Hellenist who first articulated the difference between Greek, Greco-Roman and Roman art. "The prophet and founding hero of modern archaeology", Winckelmann was one of the founders of scientific archaeology and first applied the categories of style on a large, systematic basis to the history of art. Many consider him the father of the discipline of art history. His would be the decisive influence on the rise of the neoclassical movement during the late 18th century. His writings influenced not only a new science of archaeology and art history but Western painting, sculpture, literature and even philosophy. Winckelmann's History of Ancient Art was one of the first books written in German to become a classic of European literature. His subsequent influence on Lessing, Herder, Goethe, Hölderlin, Heine, Nietzsche, George, and Spengler has been provocatively called "the Tyranny of Greece over Germany."
1721 Peter Pelham (composer) an English-born American organist, harpsichordist, teacher and composer.
1728 Pietro Alessandro Guglielmi an Italian opera composer.
1735 John Lightfoot (biologist) an English parson-naturalist, spending much of his free time as a conchologist and botanist. He was a systematic and effective curator of the private museum of Margaret Bentinck, Duchess of Portland. He is best known for his Flora Scotica which pioneered the scientific study of the plants and fungi of Scotland. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society for his scientific work
1742 Carl Wilhelm Scheele a Swedish Pomeranian pharmaceutical chemist. Isaac Asimov called him "hard-luck Scheele" because he made a number of chemical discoveries before others who are generally given the credit. For example, Scheele discovered oxygen , and identified molybdenum, tungsten, barium, hydrogen, and chlorine before Humphry Davy, among others. Scheele discovered organic acids tartaric, oxalic, uric, lactic, and citric, as well as hydrofluoric, hydrocyanic, and arsenic acids. He preferred speaking German to Swedish his whole life, and German was commonly spoken among Swedish pharmacists
1745 Maddalena Laura Sirmen an Italian composer, violinist, and later unsuccessful singer.
1748 Claude Louis Berthollet a Savoyard-French chemist who became vice president of the French Senate in 1804. He is known for his scientific contributions to theory of chemical equilibria via the mechanism of reverse chemical reactions, and for his contribution to modern chemical nomenclature. On a practical basis, Berthollet was the first to demonstrate the bleaching action of chlorine gas, and was first to develop a solution of sodium hypochlorite as a modern bleaching agent
1751 Maria Luisa of Parma Queen consort of Spain from 1788 to 1808 as the wife of King Charles IV of Spain. She was the youngest daughter of Duke Philip of Parma and his wife, Louise-Élisabeth of France, the eldest daughter of King Louis XV
1754 Francis Rawdon-Hastings 1st Marquess of Hastings an Anglo-Irish British politician and military officer who served as Governor-General of India from 1813 to 1823. He had also served with British forces for years during the American Revolutionary War and in 1794 during the French Revolutionary Wars. He took the additional surname 'Hastings' in 1790 in compliance with the will of his maternal uncle, Francis Hastings, 10th Earl of Huntingdon
1758 Sir Richard Hoare 2nd Baronet an English antiquarian, archaeologist, artist, and traveller of the 18th and 19th centuries, the first major figure in the detailed study of the history of his home county, Wiltshire.
1763 Alexey Olenin a Russian archaeologist, most notable for being a director of the Imperial Public Library between 1811 and 1843 and the sixth president of the Imperial Academy of Arts between 1817 and 1843.
1773 Armand Augustin Louis de Caulaincourt a French soldier, diplomat and close personal aide to Napoleon Bonaparte.
1798 Friedrich Gottlieb Bartling a German botanist who was a native of Hanover.
1802 Friedrich Ruthardt a German oboist and composer. He played in the Stuttgart court orchestra, and composed chorales as well as pieces for the oboe and the zither. One of the best-known 19th-century oboe concertos, by Bernhard Molique, was likely written for Ruthardt, and first performed at Stuttgart in 1829
1806 Jean-Olivier Chénier a physician in Lower Canada. Born in Lachine. During the Lower Canada Rebellion, he commanded the Patriote forces in the Battle of Saint-Eustache. Trapped with his men in a church by the British troops who set flames to the building, he was killed while attempting to escape through a window. He died to shouts of "Remember Weir!", a reference to George Weir, a British spy executed by the Patriotes. After pillaging of the village, the British mutilated Chénier's corpse to scare and humiliate his Patriote supporters:
1809 Hermann Sauppe a German classical philologist and epigraphist born in Weesenstein, near Dresden.
1810 Auguste de Beauharnais the first prince consort of Maria II of Portugal. He was also Duke of Leuchtenberg, Prince of Eichstätt, and Duke of Santa Cruz in his own right
1813 John A. Gurley a U.S. Congressman from Ohio during the early part of the American Civil War. He was appointed as the first Governor of the Arizona Territory, but died before taking office
1813 Thomas Andrews (scientist) a chemist and physicist who did important work on phase transitions between gases and liquids. He was a longtime professor of chemistry at Queen's University of Belfast
1815 Lucy Yi Zhenmei a Chinese Roman Catholic saint from Mianyang in Sichuan, China. She was born on December 9, 1815, and was the youngest member in her family
1821 Marcus Goldman an American banker, businessman, and financier. He was born in Trappstadt, Bavaria and immigrated to the United States in 1848. He was the founder of Goldman Sachs, which has since become one of the world's largest and most influential investment banks
1828 Joseph Dietzgen a German socialist philosopher, Marxist and journalist. Joseph was born in Blankenberg in the Rhine Province of Prussia. He was the first of five children of father Johann Gottfried Anno Dietzgen and mother Anna Margaretha Lückerath. He was, like his father, a tanner by profession; inheriting his uncle's business in Siegburg. Entirely self-educated, he developed the notion of dialectical materialism independently from Marx and Engels as an independent philosopher of socialist theory. His publications had major influences on Vladimir Lenin and the Russian Revolution of 1917, which are rarely commented on today. Ludwig Feuerbach's works had a great influence on his early theories. He had one son, Eugene Dietzgen
1830 Friedrich Heinrich Geffcken a German diplomatist and jurist, born in Hamburg, of which city his father was senator.
1831 Maurice de Hirsch a German-Jewish philanthropist who set up charitable foundations to promote Jewish education and improve the lot of oppressed European Jewry. He was the founder of the Jewish Colonization Association which sponsored large-scale Jewish immigration to Argentina
1831 Friedrich Wilhelm Alexander von Mechow a German explorer of Africa, naturalist and collector.He was a Major in the Prussian Army.
1832 Adalbert Krüger a German astronomer. Born in Marienburg, Prussia, he was editor of Astronomische Nachrichten from 1881
1834 Leopold Müller (painter) an Austrian genre painter.
1837 Émile Waldteufel a French pianist, conductor and composer of dance music.
1838 George Strahan a British military officer and colonial administrator, best known as the Governor of Tasmania from 1881 to 1886.
1842 Carl David af Wirsén a Swedish poet, literary critic and the Swedish Academy's permanent secretary 1884-1912.
1842 Peter Kropotkin a Russian geographer, economist, activist, philologist, zoologist, evolutionary theorist, philosopher, writer and prominent anarchist.
1843 Pierre Paul Leroy-Beaulieu a French economist, brother of Henri Jean Baptiste Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu, born at Saumur, Maine-et-Loire on the 9th of December 1843, and educated in Paris at the Lycée Bonaparte and the École de Droit. He afterwards studied at Bonn and Berlin, and on his return to Paris began to write for Le Temps, Revue nationale and Revue contemporaine