Born on March 6

1340 John of Gaunt 1st Duke of Lancaster a member of the House of Plantagenet, the third surviving son of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault. He was called "John of Gaunt" because he was born in Ghent, then rendered in English as Gaunt. When he became unpopular later in life, scurrilous rumours and lampoons circulated that he was actually the son of a Ghent butcher, perhaps because Edward III was not present at the birth. This story always drove him to fury
1405 John II of Castile King of Castile and León from 1406 to 1454.
1459 Jakob Fugger a major merchant, mining entrepreneur and banker of Europe. He was a descendant of the Fugger merchant family located in the Free Imperial City of Augsburg, where he was also born and later also elevated through marriage to Grand Burgher of Augsburg. Within a few decades he expanded the family firm to a business operating in all of Europe. He began his education at the age of 14 in Venice, which also remained his main residence until 1487. At the same time he was a cleric and held several prebendaries, even though he never lived in a monastery
1475 Michelangelo an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer of the High Renaissance who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art. Despite making few forays beyond the arts, his versatility in the disciplines he took up was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with his fellow Italian Leonardo da Vinci
1483 Francesco Guicciardini an Italian historian and statesman. A friend and critic of Niccolò Machiavelli, he is considered one of the major political writers of the Italian Renaissance. In his masterpiece, The History of Italy, Guicciardini paved the way for a new style in historiography, with his use of government sources to support arguments and the realistic analysis of the people and events of his time
1493 Juan Luis Vives a Valencian scholar and humanist who spent most of his entire adult life in the Southern Netherlands. His beliefs on the soul, insight to early medicine practice, and perspective on emotions, memory and learning earned him the title of the "father" of modern psychology. Vives was the first to shed light on some key ideas that established how we perceive psychology today
1495 Luigi Alamanni an Italian poet and statesman. He was regarded as a prolific and versatile poet. He was credited with introducing the epigram into Italian poetry
1585 Francesco Cornaro (Doge) the 101st Doge of Venice. His reign as Doge was the shortest of any Doge. He was elected on May 17, 1656, and died only a few weeks later, on June 5, 1656
1613 Stjepan Gradić a Croatian philosopher and scientist and a patrician of the Republic of Ragusa.
1619 Cyrano de Bergerac a French dramatist and duelist. In fictional works about his life he is featured with an overly large nose, which people would travel from miles around to see. Portraits suggest that he did have a big nose, though not nearly as large as described in works about him. Cyrano's work furnished models and ideas for subsequent writers
1663 Francis Atterbury an English man of letters, politician and bishop. A High Church Tory and Jacobite, he gained patronage under Queen Anne, but was mistrusted by the Hanoverian Whig ministries, and banished for communicating with the Old Pretender. He was a noted wit and a gifted preacher
1696 Joseph Anton Feuchtmayer an important Rococo stuccoist and sculptor, active in southern Germany and Switzerland.
1701 Louis-René de Caradeuc de La Chalotais primarily remembered for his role on the so-called "Brittany affair", in which the Breton parliament resisted the authority of the French monarchy. The affair has been seen as a precursor of the French Revolution
1706 George Pocock a British officer of the Royal Navy.
1714 Jean-Baptiste Marie Pierre a French painter, draughtsman and administrator.
1716 Pehr Kalm a Swedish-Finnish explorer, botanist, naturalist, and agricultural economist. He was one of the most important apostles of Carl Linnaeus
1724 Henry Laurens an American merchant and rice planter from South Carolina who became a political leader during the Revolutionary War. A delegate to the Second Continental Congress, Laurens succeeded John Hancock as President of the Congress. He was a signatory to the Articles of Confederation and President of the Continental Congress when the Articles were passed on November 15, 1777
1725 Henry Benedict Stuart a Roman Catholic Cardinal, as well as the fourth and final Jacobite heir to claim the thrones of England, Scotland, France and Ireland publicly. Unlike his father, James Francis Edward Stuart, and brother, Charles Edward Stuart, Henry made no effort to seize the throne. After Charles's death in January 1788 the Papacy did not recognise Henry as the lawful ruler of England, Scotland and Ireland, but referred to him as the Cardinal Duke of York
1755 Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian a French poet and romance writer.
1757 Louis-Marcelin de Fontanes a French poet and politician.
1761 Antoine-François Andréossy a French general and diplomat of noble origin and Italian descent.
1763 Jean-Xavier Lefèvre a Swiss-born French clarinettist.
1767 Charles Jean Marie Barbaroux a French politician of the Revolutionary period and Freemason.
1776 Luigi Lambruschini an Italian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church in the mid nineteenth century.
1778 Carl Bernhard von Trinius a German-born botanist and physician.
1779 Giovanni Battista Bugatti the official executioner for the Papal States from 1796 to 1865. He was the longest-serving executioner in the States and was nicknamed Mastro Titta, a Roman corruption of maestro di giustizia, or master of justice. At the age of 85, he was retired by Pope Pius IX with a monthly pension of 30 scudi
1779 Antoine-Henri Jomini a Swiss officer who served as a general in the French and later in the Russian service, and one of the most celebrated writers on the Napoleonic art of war. According to the historian John Shy, Jomini "deserves the dubious title of founder of modern strategy." Jomini's ideas were a staple at military academies. The senior generals of the American Civil War—those who had attended West Point—were well versed in Jomini's theories
1780 Ignaz Franz Castelli an Austrian dramatist born in Vienna. He studied law at the university, and then entered the government service
1784 Anselme Gaëtan Desmarest a French zoologist and author. He was the son of Nicolas Desmarest and father of Anselme Sébastien Léon Desmarest. Desmarest was a disciple of Georges Cuvier and Alexandre Brongniart, and in 1815, he succeeded Pierre André Latreille to the professorship of zoology at the École nationale vétérinaire d'Alfort. In 1820 he was elected to the Académie Nationale de Médecine
1785 Karol Kurpiński a Polish composer, conductor and pedagogue.
1786 Charles Napier (Royal Navy officer) a Scottish naval officer whose sixty years in the Royal Navy included service in the War of 1812 , the Napoleonic Wars, Syrian War and the Crimean War , and a period commanding the Portuguese navy in the Liberal Wars. An innovator concerned with the development of iron ships, and an advocate of humane reform in the Royal Navy, he was also active in politics as a Liberal Member of Parliament and was probably the naval officer most widely known to the public in the early Victorian Era
1787 Joseph von Fraunhofer a German optician.
1790 Jacques Arago a French writer, artist and explorer, author of a Voyage Round the World.
1791 John MacHale the Irish Roman Catholic Archbishop of Tuam, and Irish Nationalist.
1793 Bernhard Klein a German composer.
1797 Gerrit Smith a leading United States social reformer, abolitionist, politician, and philanthropist. Spouse to Ann Carroll Fitzhugh, Smith was a candidate for President of the United States in 1848, 1856, and 1860, but only served 18 months in the federal government—in Congress as a Free Soil Party Representative, in 1853–4
1800 Josef Anton Gegenbauer an accomplished German historical and portrait painter.
1804 Louis Stromeyer a German surgeon. He was born and died in Hanover. He was the son of surgeon Christian Friedrich Stromeyer
1806 Elizabeth Barrett Browning one of the most prominent English poets of the Victorian era. Her poetry was widely popular in both Britain and the United States during her lifetime
1809 Alexandra Smirnova a Russian Imperial court lady-in-waiting who served first widow Empress Maria Fyodorovna, then, after her death in 1828, Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna. Alexandra Rossette , was an elitist Saint Petersburg salon hostess and a friend of Alexander Pushkin, Vasily Zhukovsky, Pyotr Vyazemsky, Nikolai Gogol and Mikhail Lermontov. She is best remembered for her memoirs, unusually frank, occasionally caustic, and, as it was argued decades later, not necessarily accurate
1810 George Robert Waterhouse an English naturalist. He was a keeper at the department of geology and later curator of the Zoological Society of London's museum
1812 Aaron Lufkin Dennison an American watchmaker and businessman who founded a number of companies.
1812 Bruno Hildebrand a German economist representing the "older" historical school of economics. His economic thinking was highly critical of classical economists, especially of David Ricardo. His magnum opus was Economics of the Present and the Future. The basic aim of this work was to establish laws of economic development. Hildebrand also stated that economic development was linear not cyclical. He supported socialist theory on the basis of religion, basic morals, and his beliefs of the negative effect of propriety on economic behavior
1814 Sarah Knox Taylor the daughter of Zachary Taylor, who was a career military officer during her life and later became President of the United States. She met Jefferson Davis when living with her father and family at Fort Crawford during the Black Hawk War. They married in 1835 and she died three months later of malaria
1815 Pyotr Pavlovich Yershov a Russian poet and author of the famous fairy-tale poem The Little Humpbacked Horse.
1817 Princess Clémentine of Orléans the sixth child of ten and youngest daughter of Louis-Philippe I, King of the French, and his wife Marie Amalie of the Two Sicilies. She was the mother of Ferdinand I, Tsar of Bulgaria
1818 William Claflin an industrialist and philanthropist who served as the 27th Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 1869–1872 and as a member of the United States Congress from 1877–1881.
1819 Émile Blanchard a French zoologist and entomologist.
1820 Horatio Wright an engineer and general in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He was responsible for building the fortifications around Washington DC, and in the Overland Campaign he commanded the first troops to break through the Confederate defenses at Petersburg. After the war, he was involved in a number of engineering projects, including the Brooklyn Bridge and the completion of the Washington Monument, and served as Chief of Engineers for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
1823 Charles I of Württemberg the third King of Württemberg, from 25 June 1864 until his death in 1891.