Born on July 31

1143 Emperor Nijō the 78th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spanned the years from 1158 through 1165
1391 Ciriaco de' Pizzicolli a restlessly itinerant Italian humanist and antiquarian who came from a prominent family of merchants in Ancona. Sometimes he is called the Father of Archaeology. Unlike many library antiquarians, Ciriaco traveled at first for his family's ventures then to satisfy his own curiosity, all around the Eastern Mediterranean, noting down his archaeological discoveries in his day-book, Commentaria, that eventually filled six volumes. He made numerous voyages in Southern Italy, Dalmatia and Epirus and into the Morea, to Egypt, to Chios, Rhodes and Beirut, to Anatolia and Constantinople, during which he wrote detailed descriptions of monuments and ancient remains, illustrated by his drawings. He was employed by the Ottomans during the 1422 siege of Constantinople. His detailed on-site observations, particularly in lands of the Ottoman Empire, make him one of the precursors of modern archaeology. His accuracy as a meticulous epigrapher was praised by Giovanni Battista de Rossi
1396 Philip the Good Duke of Burgundy as Philip III from 1419 until his death. He was a member of a cadet line of the Valois dynasty. During his reign Burgundy reached the height of its prosperity and prestige and became a leading center of the arts. Philip is known in history for his administrative reforms, patronage of Flemish artists such as Jan van Eyck, of Franco-Flemish composers such as Gilles Binchois, and the capture of Joan of Arc. During his reign he alternated between English and French alliances in an attempt to improve his dynasty's position. Moreover, as ruler of Flanders, Brabant, Limburg, Artois, Hainaut, Holland, Zeeland, Friesland and Namur, he played an important role in the history of the Low Countries
1526 Augustus Elector of Saxony Elector of Saxony from 1553 to 1586.
1527 Maximilian II Holy Roman Emperor Holy Roman Emperor from 1564 until his death. He was crowned King of Bohemia in Prague on 14 May 1562 and elected King of Germany on 24 November 1562. On 16 July 1563 he was crowned King of Hungary and Croatia in Pressburg. On 25 July 1564 he succeeded his father Ferdinand I as ruler of the Holy Roman Empire
1598 Alessandro Algardi an Italian high-Baroque sculptor active almost exclusively in Rome, where for the latter decades of his life, he was, along with Francesco Borromini and Pietro da Cortona, one of the major rivals of Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
1617 Nicolás Antonio a Spanish bibliographer born in Seville.
1665 Johann Reinhard III Count of Hanau-Lichtenberg the last of the counts of Hanau-Lichtenberg. He reigned from 1680 to 1736. From 1712 to 1736, he also reigned the county of Hanau-Münzenberg
1686 Charles Duke of Berry (1686–1714) a grandson of Louis XIV of France. Although he was only a grandson of Louis XIV, Berry held the rank of fils de France , rather than petit-fils de France , as the son of the Dauphin, heir apparent to the throne. The Duke of Berry was for seven years heir presumptive to the throne of Spain
1702 Jean Denis Attiret a French Jesuit painter and missionary to China.
1704 Gabriel Cramer a Swiss mathematician, born in Geneva. He was the son of physician Jean Cramer and Anne Mallet Cramer
1707 Mihai Racoviță a Prince of Moldavia on three separate occasions and Prince of Wallachia on two occasions. His rules overlapped with the accession of Phanariotes in the Danubian Principalities – he is considered himself a Phanariote for the duration of his last rule in Moldavia and his rules over Wallachia
1712 Johann Samuel König a mathematician. Johann Bernoulli instructed both König and Pierre Louis Maupertuis as pupils during the same period. König is remembered largely for his disagreements with Leonhard Euler, concerning the principle of least action. He is also remembered as a tutor to Émilie du Châtelet, one of the few female physicists of the 18th century
1718 John Canton an English physicist.
1720 Emmanuel-Armand de Richelieu duc d'Aiguillon a French soldier and statesman and a nephew of Louis François Armand du Plessis, duc de Richelieu. He served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs under Louis XV
1724 Noël François de Wailly a French grammarian and lexicographer.
1737 Princess Augusta of Great Britain a granddaughter of George II and only elder sibling of George III. She married into the ducal house of Brunswick, of which she was already a member. Her daughter Caroline was the wife of George IV
1739 Alois Friedrich von Brühl a Polish-Saxon diplomat, politician, Freemason, soldier, actor and playwright.
1763 Yevdokim Zyablovskiy a Russian geographer and statistician.
1763 James Kent an American jurist and legal scholar. He was the author of Commentaries on American Law
1769 Carl Gottlob Rafn a Danish Enlightenment scientist and civil servant. He wrote influential papers on a broad array of basic and applied sciences
1773 Thérésa Tallien a French social figure during the Revolution. Later she became Princess of Chimay
1775 Emmanuel Dupaty a French playwright, naval officer, singer, journalist and administrator of the Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal. His brother was the sculptor Louis Dupaty
1777 Henryk Ignacy Kamieński a Polish brigadier general. He fought on the French side in the Napoleonic Wars and then on the Polish side in the November Uprising
1777 Pedro Ignacio de Castro Barros an Argentine statesman and priest. He was a representative to the Congress of Tucumán which on 9 July 1816 declared the Independence of Argentina
1787 Georg Kloss a German historian of freemasonry.
1796 Jean-Gaspard Deburau a celebrated Bohemian-French mime. He performed from around 1819 to the year of his death at the Théâtre des Funambules, which was immortalized in Marcel Carné's poetic-realist film Children of Paradise , where he appears as a major character. His most famous pantomimic creation was Pierrot—a character that served as the godfather of all the Pierrots of Romantic, Decadent, Symbolist, and early Modernist theater and art
1796 Mary Euphrasia Pelletier a French Roman Catholic nun, best known as the foundress of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd.
1800 Friedrich Wöhler a German chemist, best known for his synthesis of urea, but also the first to isolate several chemical elements.
1802 Ignacy Domeyko a Polish geologist, mineralogist and educator. Domeyko spent most of his life, and died, in his adopted country, Chile
1803 John Ericsson a Swedish-American inventor and mechanical engineer, as was his brother Nils Ericson. He was born at Långbanshyttan in Värmland, Sweden, but primarily came to be active in England and the United States. He is remembered best for designing the steam locomotive Novelty and the ironclad ship USS Monitor
1809 Thomas Story Kirkbride a physician, advocate for the mentally ill, and founder of the Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane , a precursor to the American Psychiatric Association.
1809 Francis Walker (entomologist) an English entomologist. He was one of the most prolific authors in entomology, and stirred controversy during his later life as his publications resulted in a huge number of junior synonyms
1810 Julian Fontana a Polish pianist, composer, lawyer, author, translator, and entrepreneur, best remembered as a close friend and musical executor of Frédéric Chopin.
1812 Amélie of Leuchtenberg Empress of Brazil as the wife of Pedro I of Brazil.
1816 George Henry Thomas a United States Army officer and a Union general during the American Civil War, one of the principal commanders in the Western Theater.
1816 Maria Theresa of Austria (1816–1867) the second wife of Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies. She was the eldest daughter of Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen and Henrietta of Nassau-Weilburg
1818 Heinrich Kiepert a German geographer.
1824 Antoine Duke of Montpensier a member of the French royal family in the House of Orléans. He was the youngest son of King Louis Philippe of France and his wife Maria Amelia Teresa of the Two Sicilies. He was styled as the Duke of Montpensier. He was born on 31 July 1824 at the château de Neuilly and died 4 February 1890 at Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain
1825 August Beer a German physicist, chemist, and mathematician. Beer was born in Trier, where he studied mathematics and natural sciences. Beer was educated at the technical school and gymnasium of his native town until 1845, when he went to Bonn to study mathematics and the sciences under the mathematician and physicist Julius Plücker, whose assistant he became later. In 1848 he won the prize for his essay, "De Situ Axium Opticorum in Crystallis Biaxibus," and obtained the degree of Ph.D. Two years later he was appointed lecturer at the University of Bonn
1826 William S. Clark a professor of chemistry, botany and zoology, a colonel during the American Civil War, and a leader in agricultural education. Raised and schooled in Easthampton, Massachusetts, Clark spent most of his adult life in Amherst, Massachusetts. He graduated from Amherst College in 1848 and obtained a doctorate in chemistry from Georgia Augusta University in Göttingen in 1852. He then served as professor of chemistry at Amherst College from 1852 to 1867. During the Civil War, he was granted leave from Amherst to serve with the 21st Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, eventually achieving the rank of colonel and the command of that unit
1828 François-Auguste Gevaert a Belgian composer.
1830 František Zdeněk Skuherský a Czech composer, pedagogue, and theoretician.
1831 Reinhold Begas a German sculptor.
1835 Henri Brisson a French statesman, Prime Minister of France for a period in 1885-1886 and again in 1898.
1836 Vasily Sleptsov a Russian writer and social reformer.
1837 William Quantrill a Confederate guerrilla leader during the American Civil War. After leading a Confederate bushwhacker unit along the Missouri-Kansas border in the early 1860s, which included the infamous raid and massacre at Lawrence, Kansas in 1863, Quantrill eventually ended up in Kentucky where he was mortally wounded in a Union ambush in May 1865, aged 27
1839 Ignacio Andrade a military and politician, member of the Liberal yellow party, President of Venezuela 1898–1899, his election was declaredly clouded by fraud.
1843 Peter Rosegger an Austrian poet from the province of Styria. He was a son of a farmer and grew up in the forests and fields. Rosegger went on to become a most productive poet and author as well as an insightful teacher and visionary. In his later years, he was honoured by officials from various Austrian universities and the city of Graz. He was nearly awarded the Nobel Prize in 1913 and is something like a national hero to this day
1843 Friedrich Robert Helmert a German geodesist and an important writer on the theory of errors.