Born on May 12

1258 Sancho IV of Castile the King of Castile, León and Galicia from 1284 to his death. He was the second son of Alfonso X and Yolanda, daughter of James I of Aragon
1325 Rupert II Elector Palatine Count Palatine of the Rhine. He was the Elector Palatine of the Rhine from the house of Wittelsbach in 1390–1398
1330 William I Duke of Bavaria the second son of the emperor Louis IV the Bavarian from his second wife Margaret of Holland and Hainaut. He was also known as William V, Count of Holland, as William III, Count of Hainaut and as William IV, Count of Zeeland
1401 Emperor Shōkō the 101st emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spanned the years from 1412 through 1428
1479 Pompeo Colonna an Italian Cardinal, politician and condottiero.
1496 Gustav I of Sweden King of Sweden from 1523 until his death, previously self-recognised Protector of the Realm from 1521, during the ongoing Swedish War of Liberation against King Christian II of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Initially of low standing, Gustav rose to lead the rebel movement following the Stockholm Bloodbath, in which his father perished. Gustav's election as King on 6 June 1523 and his triumphant entry into Stockholm eleven days later meant the end of Medieval Sweden's elective monarchy as well as the Kalmar Union. This created a hereditary monarchy under the House of Vasa and its successors, including the current House of Bernadotte
1515 Christoph Duke of Württemberg ruled as Duke of Württemberg from 1550 until his death in 1568.
1559 Stanisław Radziwiłł a sixth generation Radziwill family noble of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. He was a general starost of the Duchy of Samogitia , a first ordynat of Olyka, and the Great Lithuanian Marshal
1573 Henri Duke of Montpensier Dauphin of Auvergne, Duke of Montpensier, Sovereign Prince of the Dombes and Lord of Châtellerault.
1590 Cosimo II de' Medici Grand Duke of Tuscany Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1609 until 1621. He was the elder son of the then incumbent Grand Duke and Christina of Lorraine. He married Maria Magdalena of Austria, and had eight children
1606 Joachim von Sandrart a German Baroque art-historian and painter, active in Amsterdam during the Dutch Golden Age.
1626 Louis Hennepin a Catholic priest and missionary of the Franciscan Recollect order and an explorer of the interior of North America.
1662 Jan Frans van Bloemen a Flemish landscape painter mainly active in Rome. Here he was able to establish himself as the leading painter of views of the Roman countryside depicted in the aesthetic of the classical landscape tradition
1665 Albertus Seba a Dutch pharmacist, zoologist and collector.
1670 Augustus II the Strong Elector of Saxony , Imperial Vicar and became King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania.
1687 Johann Heinrich Schulze a German professor and polymath from Colbitz in the Duchy of Magdeburg.
1700 Luigi Vanvitelli an Italian engineer and architect. The most prominent 18th-century architect of Italy, he practised a sober classicizing academic Late Baroque style that made an easy transition to Neoclassicism
1725 Louis Philippe I Duke of Orléans a French prince, a member of a cadet branch of the House of Bourbon, the dynasty then ruling France. The First Prince of the Blood after 1752, he was the most senior male at the French court after the immediate royal family. He was the father of Philippe Égalité. He greatly augmented the already huge wealth of the House of Orléans
1729 Michael von Melas a Transylvanian-born field marshal of Saxon descent for the Austrian Empire during the Napoleonic Wars.
1739 Johann Baptist Wanhal an important Czech classical music composer. He was born in Nechanice, Bohemia, and died in Vienna
1753 George Gleig a Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church.
1754 Franz Anton Hoffmeister a German composer and music publisher.
1755 Giovanni Battista Viotti an Italian violinist whose virtuosity was famed and whose work as a composer featured a prominent violin and an appealing lyrical tunefulness. He was also a director of French and Italian opera companies in Paris and London
1767 Manuel Godoy Prince of the Peace Prime Minister of Spain from 1792 to 1797 and from 1801 to 1808. He received many titles including Prince of the Peace by which he is widely known. He came to power at a young age as the favorite of the King and Queen. Despite disaster after disaster he maintained power via corruption. Many Spanish leaders blamed Godoy for the disastrous war with Britain that cut off Spain's Empire and ruined its finances
1772 Heinrich Menu von Minutoli a Prussian Generalmajor, explorer and archaeologist.
1773 Thomas Horsfield an American physician and naturalist who worked extensively in Indonesia, describing numerous species of plants and animals from the region. He was later a curator of the East India Company Museum in London
1778 José de la Mar a Peruvian military leader, politician and the third President of Peru.
1784 James Sheridan Knowles an Irish dramatist and actor.
1786 Jean-François Barrière a French historian. He wrote about the French revolution, most notably an annotated biography of Madame Roland entitled Memoirs de Madame Roland, Avec une Notice sur sa Vie, des Notes et des Eclaircissemens historiques par Saint-Albin Berville et Jean-François Barrière, edited and published in 1827 by Honoré de Balzac
1787 José Francisco Barrundia a liberal Central American politician. From June 26, 1829 to September 16, 1830 he was interim president of the United Provinces of Central America
1790 Carsten Hauch a Danish poet.
1794 George Cathcart a British general and diplomat.
1802 Jean-Baptiste Henri Lacordaire a French ecclesiastic, preacher, journalist and political activist. He re-established the Dominican Order in post-Revolutionary France
1803 Justus von Liebig a German chemist who made major contributions to agricultural and biological chemistry, and was considered the founder of organic chemistry. As a professor at the University of Giessen, he devised the modern laboratory-oriented teaching method, and for such innovations, he is regarded one of the greatest chemistry teachers of all time. He is considered the "father of the fertilizer industry" for his discovery of nitrogen as an essential plant nutrient, and his formulation of the Law of the Minimum which described the effect of individual nutrients on crops. He also developed a manufacturing process for beef extracts, and founded a company, Liebig Extract of Meat Company, that later trademarked the Oxo brand beef bouillon cube
1804 Robert Baldwin a Canadian lawyer and politician who, with his political partner Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine, led the first responsible ministry in Canada. "Responsible Government" marked the country's democratic independence, without a revolution, although not without violence. This achievement also included the introduction of municipal government, the introduction of a modern legal system and the Canadian Jury system, and the abolishing of imprisonment for debt. Baldwin is also noted for resisting a decades-long tradition of Orange Order terrorism of political reform in the colony, that went so far as to burn the Parliament buildings in Montreal in 1849
1806 Georg Adolf Erman a German physicist.
1806 Johan Vilhelm Snellman an influential Fennoman philosopher and Finnish statesman, ennobled in 1866.
1809 Giuseppe Giusti an Italian poet and satirist.
1811 Marshall Claxton an English subject, genre, landscape and portrait painter.
1812 Edward Lear known now mostly for his literary nonsense in poetry and prose and especially his limericks, a form he popularised. His principal areas of work as an artist were threefold: as a draughtsman employed to illustrate birds and animals; making coloured drawings during his journeys, which he reworked later, sometimes as plates for his travel books; as a illustrator of Alfred Tennyson's poems. As an author, he is known principally for his popular nonsense collections of poems, songs, short stories, botanical drawings, recipes, and alphabets. He also composed and published twelve musical settings of Tennyson's poetry
1812 Lorenzo Nina an Italian prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. A longtime member of the Roman Curia, he served as Prefect of the Congregation for Studies , Vatican Secretary of State , and Prefect of the Congregation of the Council. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 1877
1814 Adolf von Henselt a German composer and pianist.
1820 Florence Nightingale a celebrated English social reformer and statistician, and the founder of modern nursing. She came to prominence while serving as a nurse during the Crimean War, where she tended to wounded soldiers. She was known as "The Lady with the Lamp" after her habit of making rounds at night
1820 Josef Mánes a Czech painter.
1823 John Russell Hind an English astronomer.
1823 Frederik Vermehren born in Ringsted to glazier Peter Frederik Nikolai Vermehren and his wife Sofie Amalie. His artistic career took place during the period of Danish art between the Golden Age of Danish Painting and that of the Skagen Painters. Vermehren, along with fellow artists Christen Dalsgaard and Julius Exner, were the three big names in Danish genre painting that depicted the ordinary people of the country, especially farmers and other country folk. His idealised depictions helped define and encourage Denmark's national romantic art period
1825 Orélie-Antoine de Tounens a French lawyer, and adventurer, who assumed the title of King of the Araucanía and Patagonia. It is disputed whether Tounens was a self-proclaimed king or was elected in a national assembly by more than 3,000 indigenous Mapuche delegates, and the highest Mapuche authorities of the time, the including the most important loncos and Toki
1828 Dante Gabriel Rossetti an English poet, illustrator, painter and translator. He founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 with William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais, and was later to be the main inspiration for a second generation of artists and writers influenced by the movement, most notably William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones. His work also influenced the European Symbolists and was a major precursor of the Aesthetic movement
1829 Pavlos Carrer a Greek composer.
1832 Friedrich Moritz Brauer an Austrian entomologist who was Director of the Naturhistorisches Hofmuseum, Vienna, at the time of his death. He wrote many papers on Diptera and Neuroptera