Born on February 26

1361 Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia was, by inheritance, King of Bohemia from 1363 and by election, German King from 1376. He was the third Bohemian and third German monarch of the Luxembourg dynasty. Wenceslaus was deposed in 1400 as King of the Romans, but continued to rule as Bohemian king until his death
1416 Christopher of Bavaria King of Denmark , Sweden and Norway during the era of the Kalmar Union.
1564 Christopher Marlowe an English dramatist, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era. Marlowe was the foremost Elizabethan tragedian of his day. He greatly influenced William Shakespeare, who was born in the same year as Marlowe and who rose to become the pre-eminent Elizabethan playwright after Marlowe's mysterious early death. Marlowe's plays are known for the use of blank verse, and their overreaching protagonists
1584 Albert VI Duke of Bavaria son of William V, Duke of Bavaria and Renata of Lorraine, born and died in Munich.
1587 Stefano Landi an Italian composer and teacher of the early Baroque Roman School. He was an influential early composer of opera, and wrote the earliest opera on a historical subject: Sant'Alessio
1619 Francesco Morosini the Doge of Venice from 1688 to 1694, at the height of the Great Turkish War. He was a member of a famous noble Venetian family which produced several Doges and generals. He "dressed always in red from top to toe and never went into action without his cat beside him on the poop."
1633 Gustav Adolph Duke of Mecklenburg-Güstrow the last ruler of Mecklenburg-Güstrow from 1636 until his death and last Lutheran Administrator of the Prince-Bishopric of Ratzeburg from 1636 to 1648.
1651 Pieter van der Hulst a Dutch Golden Age painter.
1664 Nicolas Fatio de Duillier a Swiss mathematician known for his work on the zodiacal light problem, for his very close relationship with Isaac Newton, for his role in the Newton Leibniz calculus controversy, and for originating the "push" or "shadow" theory of gravitation. He also developed and patented a method of perforating jewels for use in clocks
1671 Anthony Ashley-Cooper 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury an English politician, philosopher and writer.
1672 Antoine Augustin Calmet O.S.B. a French Benedictine monk, was born at Ménil-la-Horgne, then in the Duchy of Bar, part of the Holy Roman Empire
1677 Nicola Fago an Italian Baroque composer and teacher. He was the father of Lorenzo Fago
1714 James Hervey an English clergyman and writer.
1718 Johan Ernst Gunnerus a Norwegian bishop and botanist. Gunnerus was born at Christiania. He was bishop of the Diocese of Nidaros from 1758 until his death and also a professor of theology at the University of Copenhagen
1720 Gian Francesco Albani a Roman Catholic Cardinal. He was a member of the Albani family
1724 Gottfried Heinrich Bach the firstborn son of Johann Sebastian Bach by his second wife Anna Magdalena Wilcke.
1725 Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot a French inventor. He is known to have built the first working self-propelled mechanical vehicle, the world's first automobile. This claim is disputed by some sources, however, which suggest that Ferdinand Verbiest, as a member of a Jesuit mission in China, may have been the first to build, around 1672, a steam-powered vehicle but that was too small to carry a driver or passengers
1728 Antoine Baumé a French chemist.
1729 Anders Chydenius known as the leading classical liberal of Nordic history.
1740 Giambattista Bodoni an Italian typographer, type-designer, compositor, printer and publisher in Parma.
1746 Archduchess Maria Amalia of Austria the Duchess of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla by marriage. Maria Amalia was a daughter of Empress Maria Theresa and Emperor Francis She was thus younger sister to Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor and older sister to Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor, Maria Carolina, Queen of Naples and Marie Antoinette, Queen of France
1748 Jean-Baptiste Landé a French ballet dancer, active in Sweden, Denmark and Russia. He is the founder of the Russian Ballet Mariinsky Ballet
1748 Luigi Fortis Very Rev. Luigi Fortis, S.J. was an Italian Jesuit elected 20th Superior-General of the Society of Jesus
1759 Ludwig Heinrich von Jakob a German philosopher, political scientist and economist. During the French occupation of Germany, he worked as a consultant and professor in Russia
1763 Karl David Ilgen a German Old Testament scholar and classical philologist.
1766 Johann Maass a German psychologist.
1770 Anton Reicha a Bohemian-born, later naturalized French composer of music very much in the German style. A contemporary and lifelong friend of Beethoven, he is now best remembered for his substantial early contributions to the wind quintet literature and his role as teacher of pupils including Franz Liszt and Hector Berlioz. He was also an accomplished theorist, and wrote several treatises on various aspects of composition. Some of his theoretical work dealt with experimental methods of composition, which he applied in a variety of works such as fugues and études for piano and string quartet
1772 Gerhard von Kügelgen a German painter, noted for his portraits and history paintings. He was a professor at the Academy of Arts in Dresden and a member of both the Prussian and Russian Academies of Arts. His twin brother, Karl von Kügelgen, was also a painter of note
1777 Matija Nenadović a Serbian archpriest, writer, and a notable leader of the First Serbian Uprising.
1780 Christian Samuel Weiss a German mineralogist born in Leipzig.
1781 José María Calatrava y Peinado a Spanish politician who served as Prime Minister of Spain and Minister of State between 1836 and 1837.
1785 Anna Sundström a Swedish chemist. She was the assistant of the chemist and scientist Jöns Jacob Berzelius from 1808 to 1836. Anna Sundström has been referred to as the first female chemist in Sweden
1786 François Arago a French mathematician, physicist, astronomer, freemason, supporter of the carbonari and politician.
1786 Madame Saqui a noted French tightrope walker or "rope dancer." For a time she had her own theatre, which she had re-decorated. She continued to perform into her seventies. In her day she was something of a celebrity and is mentioned in Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
1794 Barthélémy de Theux de Meylandt a Belgian Roman Catholic politician. He was born in the castle of Schabroek in Sint-Truiden on 26 February 1794. The count died in Heusden, in the Meylandt Castle on 21 August 1874 in Belgium
1799 Benoît Paul Émile Clapeyron a French engineer and physicist, one of the founders of thermodynamics.
1802 Victor Hugo a French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement. He is considered one of the greatest and best known French writers. In France, Hugo's literary fame comes first from his poetry but also rests upon his novels and his dramatic achievements. Among many volumes of poetry, Les Contemplations and La Légende des siècles stand particularly high in critical esteem. Outside France, his best-known works are the acclaimed novels Les Misérables, 1862, and Notre-Dame de Paris, 1831. He also produced more than 4,000 drawings, which have since been admired for their beauty, and earned widespread respect as a campaigner for social causes such as the abolition of the death penalty
1803 Arnold Adolph Berthold a German physiologist and zoologist. He studied medicine in Göttingen in 1819 and wrote his thesis under the direction of Johann Friedrich Blumenbach. Berthold became a private lecturer in 1825 and began to teach physiology at the University of Göttingen where he spent the rest of his career. He is known as a pioneer in endocrinology due to his experiments on the role of the gonads in the development of secondary sexual characteristics. He published important works on reptiles and amphibians as well as on avian physiology. In the field of entomology, he authored Natürliche Familien des Tierreichs
1807 Carl Friedrich Keil a conservative German Lutheran Old Testament commentator. He was born at Lauterbach near Oelsnitz, Kingdom of Saxony, and died at Rätz, Saxony
1807 Théophile-Jules Pelouze a French chemist. He was born at Valognes, and died in Paris
1808 Honoré Daumier a French printmaker, caricaturist, painter, and sculptor, whose many works offer commentary on social and political life in France in the 19th century.
1808 Nathan Kelley a United States architect and builder. He was a prolific architect whose designs dominated the cityscape of Columbus, Ohio at the middle of the 19th century
1811 Heinrich Christian Burckhardt a German forester and entomologist.
1814 Giuseppe Lillo an Italian composer. He is best known for his operas which followed in the same vein of Gioachino Rossini. He also produced works for solo piano, a small amount of sacred music, and some chamber music
1814 Charles Joseph Sainte-Claire Deville a geologist and meteorologist.
1816 Franz Krenn an Austrian composer and composition teacher born in Droß. He studied under Ignaz von Seyfried in Vienna, and served as organist in a number of Viennese churches, becoming Kapellmeister of Michael's Church in Vienna in 1862. From 1869 until 1893 Krenn taught harmony, counterpoint and composition at the Vienna Conservatory. During this time, he appears to have acquired the nickname 'Old Krenn', and is today often described as having been a rather pedantic teacher
1816 Levi Hill an American minister in upstate New York who claimed in 1851 that he had invented a color photographic process. Borrowing terms previously introduced in France, Hill called his process "heliochromy" and the photographs that it produced "heliochromes", but by analogy to the naming of the then-current daguerreotype process after its inventor Louis Daguerre, Hill's color photographs were soon being called "Hillotypes". Hill's work was met with skepticism during his lifetime, then for more than a hundred years after his death histories of photography routinely dismissed it as a complete fraud. Later researchers found that his very difficult process did in fact have a limited ability to reproduce the colors of nature
1821 Félix Ziem a French painter in the style of the Barbizon School.
1825 Ludwig Ruetimeyer considered one of the fathers of zooarchaeology.
1825 Hieronymus Weickmann an Imperial Russian viola player, composer and music educator of German descent.