Born on February 20

1194 Tancred King of Sicily King of Sicily from 1189 to 1194. He was born in Lecce an illegitimate son of Roger III, Duke of Apulia by his mistress Emma, a daughter of Achard II, Count of Lecce. He inherited the title "Count of Lecce" from his grandfather and is consequently often referred to as Tancred of Lecce. Although a member of the Hauteville family, due to his illegitimate status he was known by the surname, Fitz Roger, meaning "son of Roger"
1243 Romano Bonaventura a Catholic Christian prelate, Cardinal deacon of Sant'Angelo in Pescheria, his titulus , bishop of Porto-Santa Rufina , a cardinal-legate to the court of France.
1358 Eleanor of Aragon Queen of Castile a daughter of King Peter IV of Aragon and his wife Eleanor of Sicily. She was a member of the House of Aragon and Queen of Castile by her marriage
1371 Enrique Pérez de Guzmán 2nd Count of Niebla a Spanish nobleman and military figure of the Reconquista. He drowned whilst attempting the Seventh Siege of Gibraltar
1469 Thomas Cajetan an Italian philosopher, theologian, cardinal and the Master of the Order of Preachers 1508-18. He was a leading theologian of his day who is now best known as the spokesman for Catholic opposition to the teachings of Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation while he was the Pope's Legate in Wittenberg, and perhaps also among Catholics for his extensive commentary on the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas
1494 Johan Friis a Danish statesman. He was born in Lundbygaard, Sweden, and died in Koge, Denmark. He studied in Odense and in Copenhagen before completing his education abroad
1523 Jan Blahoslav a Czech humanistic writer, poet, translator, etymologist, hymnographer, grammarian, music theorist and composer. He was a Unity of the Brethren bishop, and translated the New Testament into Czech in 1564. This was incorporated into the Bible of Kralice
1549 Francesco Maria II della Rovere Duke of Urbino the last Duke of Urbino.
1608 Arthur Capell 1st Baron Capell of Hadham an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1640 until 1641 when he was raised to the peerage as Baron Capell. He supported the Royalist cause in the English Civil War and was executed on the orders of parliament in 1649
1630 Josefa de Óbidos a Spanish-born, Portuguese painter from the seventeenth century. Her birth name was Josefa de Ayala Figueira, but she signed her work as, "Josefa em Óbidos" or, "Josefa de Ayalla". She is one of the relatively few female European painters known to have been active in the Baroque era. All of her work was executed in Portugal, her father's native country, where she lived from the age of four
1632 Thomas Osborne 1st Duke of Leeds KG , English statesman , served in a variety of offices under Kings Charles II and William III of England.
1633 Jan de Baen a Dutch portrait painter who lived during the Dutch Golden Age. He was a pupil of the painter Jacob Adriaensz Backer in Amsterdam from 1645 to 1648. He worked for Charles II of England in his Dutch exile, and from 1660 until his death he lived and worked in The Hague. His portraits were popular in his day, and he painted the most distinguished people of his time
1698 Bernardo Tanucci an Italian statesman, who brought enlightened government to the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies for Charles III and his son Ferdinand IV.
1705 Nicolas Chédeville a French composer, musette player and musette maker.
1726 William Prescott an American colonel in the Revolutionary War who commanded the rebel forces in the Battle of Bunker Hill. Prescott is known for his order to his soldiers, "Do not fire until you see the whites of their eyes", such that the rebel troops may shoot at the enemy at shorter ranges, and therefore more accurately and lethally, and so conserve their limited stocks of ammunition. It is debated whether Prescott or someone earlier coined this memorable saying
1729 Fyodor Volkov a Russian actor and founder of the first permanent Russian theater.
1743 James Gandon today recognised as one of the leading architects to have worked in Ireland in the late 18th century and early 19th century. His better known works include The Custom House, the Four Courts, King's Inns in Dublin and Emo Court in County Laois
1744 Alessandro Mattei an Italian Cardinal, and a significant figure in papal diplomacy of the Napoleonic period. He was from the Roman aristocratic House of Mattei
1745 Johann Peter Salomon a German violinist, composer, conductor and musical impresario.
1745 Henry James Pye an English poet. Pye was Poet Laureate from 1790 until his death. He was the first poet laureate to receive a fixed salary of £27 instead of the historic tierce of Canary wine
1748 Luther Martin a politician and one of United States' Founding Fathers, who refused to sign the Constitution because he felt it violated states' rights. He was a leading Anti-Federalist, along with Patrick Henry and George Mason, whose actions helped passage of the Bill of Rights
1751 Johann Heinrich Voss a German classicist and poet, known mostly for his translation of Homer's Odyssey and Iliad into German.
1753 Louis-Alexandre Berthier a Marshal and Vice-Constable of France beginning in 1808, and Chief of Staff under Napoleon.
1757 John 'Mad Jack' Fuller well known as a builder of follies, and as a philanthropist, patron of the arts and sciences, and a supporter of slavery. He purchased and commissioned many paintings from J.M.W. Turner. He was sponsor and mentor to Michael Faraday
1759 Johann Christian Reil a German physician, physiologist, anatomist and psychiatrist. He coined the term psychiatry or, in German, Psychiatrie in 1808
1761 Ludwig Abeille a German pianist and composer.
1761 Solomon Spalding the author of two related texts: an unfinished manuscript entitled Manuscript Story – Conneaut Creek, and an unpublished historical romance about the lost civilization of the mound builders of North America called Manuscript, Found. Whether these texts are distinct is disputed. After Spalding's death, a number of individuals suggested that Spaulding's work was used as a source for the Book of Mormon, a scripture in the Latter Day Saint movement
1784 John E. Wool an officer in the United States Army during three consecutive U.S. wars: the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War and the American Civil War. By the time of the Mexican-American War, he was widely considered one of the most capable officers in the army and a superb organizer
1785 Catherina Cibbini-Kozeluch an Austrian pianist and composer of Bohemian ancestry. She was born in Vienna, the daughter of prominent pianist and music publisher Jan Antonín Koželuh. She studied music with her father and also with Muzio Clementi
1792 Eliza Courtney the illegitimate daughter of the Whig politician and future Prime Minister Charles Grey and the society beauty Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, while Georgiana was married to William Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshire.
1794 William Carleton an Irish writer and novelist. He is best known for his Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry a collection of ethnic sketches of the stereotypical Irishman
1795 Franz Xaver Stöber an Austrian engraver and etcher.
1802 Charles Auguste de Bériot a Belgian violinist and composer.
1807 James Bonham a 19th-century American soldier who died at the Battle of the Alamo during the Texas Revolution. His younger brother, Milledge Luke Bonham, was a brigadier general in the Confederate States Army in the American Civil War, and served as Governor of South Carolina from 1862 to 1864
1808 Pierre Dumoulin-Borie a French Catholic missionary priest and a member of the Paris Foreign Missions Society. He is a Catholic saint, canonized in 1988 along with other Vietnamese Martyrs
1810 Henri Martin (historian) a French historian celebrated in his own day, whose modern reputation has been eclipsed by the greater literary and interpretive powers of his contemporary, the equally passionate patriot Jules Michelet, whose works have often been reprinted.
1811 Henry Hastings Sibley the first Governor of the U.S. state of Minnesota and a U.S. Representative of the Minnesota Territory and the Wisconsin Territory
1819 Alfred Escher a Swiss politician, business leader and railways pioneer. Thanks to his numerous political posts and his significant role in the foundation and management of the Swiss Northeastern Railway, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Credit Suisse, Swiss Life and the Gotthard Railway, Escher had an unmatched influence on Switzerland’s political and economic development in the 19th century
1820 Gustave Nadaud a French songwriter and chansonnier.
1821 Nils Johan Andersson a Swedish botanist and traveller. This botanist is denoted by the author abbreviation N.J.Andersson when citing a botanical name
1826 Charles C. Stevenson an American politician. He was the fifth Governor of Nevada. He was a member of the Republican Party
1828 Karl Ferdinand Wimar a German-American painter who concentrated on Native Americans in the West and the great herds of buffalo.
1829 Odo Russell 1st Baron Ampthill a British diplomat and the first British Ambassador to the German Empire.
1829 Joseph Jefferson an American actor. He was the third actor of this name in a family of actors and managers, and one of the most famous of all American comedians
1835 Alessandro d'Ancona an Italian critic and writer.
1836 Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer a Spanish post-romanticist poet and writer , also a playwright, literary columnist, and talented drawer. Today he is considered one of the most important figures in Spanish literature, and is considered by some as the most read writer after Cervantes. He adopted the alias of Bécquer as his brother Valeriano Bécquer, a painter, had done earlier. He was associated with the post-romanticism movement and wrote while realism was enjoying success in Spain. He was moderately well known during his life, but it was after his death that most of his works were published. His best known works are the Rhymes and the Legends, usually published together as Rimas y leyendas. These poems and tales are essential to the study of Spanish literature and common reading for high-school students in Spanish-speaking countries
1836 Anne Casimir Pyrame de Candolle a Swiss botanist, the son of Alphonse Pyrame de Candolle.
1837 Éleuthère Mascart a noted French physicist, a researcher in optics, electricity, magnetism, and meteorology.
1839 Benjamin Waugh a Victorian social reformer and campaigner who founded the UK charity, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in the late 19th century, and also wrote various hymns.
1844 Ludwig Boltzmann an Austrian physicist and philosopher whose greatest achievement was in the development of statistical mechanics, which explains and predicts how the properties of atoms determine the physical properties of matter.