Born on January 17

1245 Roger of Lauria a Sicilian admiral in Aragonese service, who was the commander of the fleet of Aragon during the War of the Sicilian Vespers. He was probably the most successful and talented naval tactician of the medieval period. He is known as Ruggero or Ruggiero di Lauria in Italian
1342 Philip the Bold Duke of Burgundy and jure uxoris Count of Flanders , Artois and Burgundy. The fourth and youngest son of King John II of France and his wife, Bonne of Luxembourg, Philip was the founder of the Burgundian branch of the House of Valois
1345 Henry of Asti the titular Roman Catholic patriarch of Constantinople from 1339 and bishop of Negroponte in Frankish Greece. His fame rests on his leadership of the first Smyrniote crusade , on which he died
1429 Antonio del Pollaiolo an Italian painter, sculptor, engraver and goldsmith during the Renaissance.
1463 Antoine Duprat a French Cardinal and politician, who was chancellor of France.
1463 Frederick III Elector of Saxony Elector of Saxony from 1486 to his death. Frederick was the son of Ernest, Elector of Saxony and his wife Elisabeth, daughter of Albert III, Duke of Bavaria. He is notable as being one of the most powerful early defenders of Martin Luther, Lutheranism and the Protestant Reformation although he had little personal contact with Luther himself. Fredericks' treasurer Degenhart Pfaffinger , spoke on behalf of him to Martin Luther. Pfaffinger supported Frederick since the joint pilgrimage to the holy land. He is considered to have remained a Roman Catholic all his life, yet gradually inclining toward doctrines of the Reformation
1472 Guidobaldo da Montefeltro an Italian condottiero and the Duke of Urbino from 1482 to 1508.
1484 George Spalatin the pseudonym taken by Georg Burkhardt , an important German figure in the history of the Reformation.
1504 Pope Pius V Pope from 8 January 1566 to his death in 1572. He is venerated as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church. He is chiefly notable for his role in the Council of Trent, the Counter-Reformation, and the standardization of the Roman rite within the Latin Church. Pius V declared Thomas Aquinas a Doctor of the Church and patronized prominent sacred music composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
1512 Sibylle of Cleves Electress consort of Saxony.
1517 Henry Grey 1st Duke of Suffolk an English nobleman of the Tudor period and the father of Lady Jane Grey.
1560 Gaspard Bauhin a Swiss botanist whose Phytopinax described thousands of plants and classified them in a manner that draws comparisons to the later binomial nomenclature of Linnaeus. He was a disciple of the famous Italian physician Girolamo Mercuriale and he also worked on human anatomical nomenclature. Linnaeus honored the Bauhin brothers Gaspard and Jean in the genus name Bauhinia
1574 Robert Fludd a prominent English Paracelsian physician. He is remembered as an astrologer, mathematician, cosmologist, Qabalist and Rosicrucian apologist
1600 Pedro Calderón de la Barca a dramatist, poet and writer of the Spanish Golden Age. During certain periods of his life he was also a soldier and a Roman Catholic priest. Born when the Spanish Golden Age theatre was being defined by Lope de Vega, he developed it further, his work being regarded as the culmination of the Spanish Baroque theatre. As such, he is regarded as one of Spain's foremost dramatists and one of the finest playwrights of world literature
1612 Thomas Fairfax a general and parliamentary commander-in-chief during the English Civil War. An adept and talented commander, Fairfax led Parliament to many victories, notably the crucial battle of Naseby, becoming effectively military ruler of the new republic, but was eventually overshadowed by his subordinate Oliver Cromwell, who was more politically adept and radical in action against Charles Fairfax became unhappy with Cromwell's policy and publicly refused to take part in Charles's show trial. Eventually he resigned leaving Cromwell to control the republic. Because of this, and also his honourable battlefield conduct and his active role in the Restoration of the monarchy after Cromwell's death, he was exempted from the retribution exacted on many other leaders of the revolution. His dark hair and eyes and a swarthy complexion earned him the nickname "Black Tom"
1640 Jonathan Singletary Dunham a prominent early American settler of Woodbridge Township, New Jersey, who built the first gristmill in New Jersey. He is U.S. President Barack Obama’s eighth great-grandfather and the first of Obama’s Dunham ancestors to be born in North America
1652 Claude-Guy Hallé a French painter. He was the son of the painter Daniel Hallé
1657 Pieter van Bloemen a Flemish painter known for his Italianizing landscapes, and his compositions depicting equestrian, animal and market scenes.
1659 Antonio Veracini an Italian composer and violinist of the Baroque era.
1664 Antonio Salvi an Italian physician, court poet and librettist. He was in the service of the ducal court in Florence and the favourite librettist of Prince Ferdinando de' Medici. Salvi was one of the developers of the opera seria
1666 Antonio Maria Valsalva an Italian anatomist born in Imola. His research focused on the anatomy of the ears. He coined the term Eustachian tube and he described the aortic sinuses of Valsalva in his writings, published posthumously in 1740. His name is associated with the Valsalva antrum of the ear and the Valsalva maneuver, which is used as a test of circulatory function. Anatomical structures bearing his name are Valsalva’s muscle and taeniae Valsalvae
1679 Charles III William Margrave of Baden-Durlach Margrave of Baden-Durlach between 1709 and 1738. He was the son of Margrave Frederick Magnus of Baden-Durlach and Augusta Maria of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp. In 1715, he established Karlsruhe , where he built his residence. Karlsruhe has since grown to a large city. With the consolidation of public finances and the creation of a reliable administration, he laid the foundations for the reform policies of his grandson, Charles Frederick
1679 Ignazio Stern a Baroque painter who worked in Rome, dying there in 1748.
1686 Archibald Bower a Scottish historian, now noted for his complicated and varying religious faith, and the accounts he gave of it, now considered by scholars to lack credibility.
1706 Benjamin Franklin one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and in many ways was "the First American". A renowned polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove, among other inventions. He facilitated many civic organizations, including Philadelphia's fire department and a university
1709 George Lyttelton 1st Baron Lyttelton a British statesman and patron of the arts.
1712 John Stanley (composer) an English composer and organist.
1719 William Vernon a New England trader who played a leading role in the Continental Congress' maritime activities during the American Revolution. As president of the Eastern Navy Board during the Revolution, he was responsible for building and outfitting the ships of the Continental Navy
1719 Johann Elias Schlegel a German critic and dramatic poet.
1721 Charles Germain de Saint Aubin a French draftsman and embroidery designer to King Louis Published a classic reference on embroidery, L'Art du Brodeur in 1770. In addition to his embroidery designs, he was also known for his drawings and engravings
1721 Countess Palatine Elisabeth Auguste of Sulzbach the eldest granddaughter of the Elector of the Palatinate Charles III Philip, and by her marriage to Elector Palatine Charles IV Theodore, Electress Palatine and later Electress of Bavaria.
1726 Hugh Mercer a soldier and physician. He initially served with British forces during the Seven Years' War but later became a brigadier general in the Continental Army and a close friend to George Washington. Mercer died as a result of his wounds received at the Battle of Princeton and became a fallen hero and rallying symbol of the American Revolution
1728 Johann Gottfried Müthel a German composer and noted keyboard virtuoso. Along with C.P.E. Bach, he represented the Sturm und Drang style of composition
1732 Stanisław August Poniatowski the last King and Grand Duke of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. He remains a controversial figure in Polish history. Recognized as a great patron of the arts and sciences and a supporter of progressive reforms, he is also remembered as the last king of the Commonwealth whose election was marred by serious irregularities, and the one who failed to prevent Poland's destruction
1733 Thomas Linley the elder born in Badminton, Gloucestershire, and studied music in Bath, where he settled as a singing-master and conductor of the concerts.
1734 Vincenzo Petagna an Italian biologist and physician, and a director of the Monte Oliveto botanical gardens. The plant Petagnaea gussonei is named in his honour
1734 François-Joseph Gossec a French composer of operas, string quartets, symphonies, and choral works.
1741 Princesse Moustache a Russian lady in waiting, socialite and noble and Dame of the Order of Catherine's first degree.
1745 Nicolas Roze a French composer and musicologist.
1747 Markus Herz a German physician and lecturer on philosophy.
1755 Peter I Grand Duke of Oldenburg the Regent of the Duchy of Oldenburg for his incapacitated cousin Peter Frederick William from 1785 to 1823, and then served himself as Duke from 1823-1829.
1756 Michael von Kienmayer an Austrian general who was active during the Napoleonic Wars.
1761 Sir James Hall 4th Baronet a Scottish geologist and geophysicist, born at Dunglass, East Lothian, to Sir John Hall, 3rd Baronet , by his spouse, Magdalen daughter of Sir Robert Pringle, 3rd Baronet, of Stichill, Roxburghshire. Sir James was also Member of Parliament for Michael's borough 1807–1812
1769 Peter Wittgenstein a Russian Field Marshal distinguished for his services in the Napoleonic wars.
1771 Charles Brockden Brown generally regarded by scholars as the most important American novelist before James Fenimore Cooper. He is the most frequently studied and republished practitioner of the "early American novel," or the US novel between 1789 and roughly 1820. Although Brown was not the first American novelist, as some early criticism claimed, the breadth and complexity of his achievement as a writer in multiple genres makes him a crucial figure in US literature and culture of the 1790s and first decade of the 19th century, and a significant public intellectual in the wider Atlantic print culture and public sphere of the era of the French Revolution
1774 Georg Wilhelm Franz Wenderoth a German pharmacist and botanist.
1779 Maria Cristina of Naples and Sicily a Princess of Naples and Sicily and later Queen of Sardinia as wife of Charles Felix of Sardinia.
1783 Pedro Gual Escandón a Venezuelan lawyer, politician, journalist and diplomat. In 1824 as chancelor of Great Colombia he negotiated with the U.S. diplomat Richard Clough Anderson and concluded the Anderson–Gual Treaty, the first bilateral treaty that the U.S. signed with another American state He was President of Venezuela for three periods and member of the Conservative Centralist party
1784 Philippe Antoine d'Ornano a French soldier and political figure who rose to the rank of Marshal of France. He was made Count d'Ornano of the French Empire in 1808. He was born a son of Lodovico Antonio Ornano and Isabella Maria Buonaparte, making him a second cousin of Napoleon Bonaparte
1789 August Neander a German theologian and church historian.