Born on May 17

1155 Jien a Japanese poet, historian, and Buddhist monk.
1443 Edmund Earl of Rutland the fifth child and second surviving son of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, and Cecily Neville. He was born in Rouen
1490 Albert Duke of Prussia the last Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights, who after converting to Lutheranism, became the first monarch of the Duchy of Prussia, the secularized state that emerged from the former Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights. Albert was the first European ruler to establish Protestantism as the official state religion of his lands. He proved instrumental in the political spread of Protestantism in its early stage, ruling the Prussian lands for nearly six decades
1500 Federico II Gonzaga Duke of Mantua the ruler of the Italian city of Mantua from 1519 until his death. He was also Marquis of Montferrat from 1536
1551 Martin Delrio a Jesuit theologian of Spanish descent. He was born in Antwerp, and studied at numerous institutions, receiving the degree of Doctor of Law from Salamanca in 1574. After a period of political service, he became a Jesuit in 1580. He taught theology for several years in Leuven, Mainz, and Douai; all intellectual centres for the Catholic Reformation
1587 Esaias van de Velde a Dutch landscape painter.
1628 Ferdinand Charles Archduke of Austria the Archduke of Further Austria, including the Tyrol, from 1646 to 1662.
1673 Dominik von Königsegg-Rothenfels an imperial Fieldmarshal.
1682 Bartholomew Roberts a Welsh pirate who raided ships off the Americas and West Africa between 1719 and 1722. He was the most successful pirate of the Golden Age of Piracy, as measured by vessels captured, taking over 470 prizes in his career. He is also known as Black Bart , but this name was never used in his lifetime, and also risks confusion with Black Bart of the American West
1706 Andreas Felix von Oefele a German historian and librarian.
1711 Agustín de Jáuregui a Spanish politician and soldier who served as governor of Chile and viceroy of Peru.
1718 Robert Darcy 4th Earl of Holderness a British diplomat and politician. From 1744 to 1746 he was ambassador at Venice and from 1749 to 1751 he represented his country at The Hague. In 1751 he became Secretary of State for the Southern Department, transferring in 1754 to the Northern Department, and he remained in office until March 1761, when he was dismissed by King George III in favor of Lord Bute, although he had largely been a cipher in that position to the stronger personalities of his colleagues, successively the Duke of Newcastle, Thomas Robinson, Henry Fox, and William Pitt the Elder. From 1771 to 1776 he acted as governor to two of the King's sons, a solemn phantom as Horace Walpole calls him. He left no sons, and all his titles became extinct except the Baronies of Darcy and Conyers, which were Baronies by Writ, and the Portuguese countship of Mértola. In those peerages he was succeeded by his daughter, Amelia Osborne, Marchioness of Carmarthen
1732 Francesco Pasquale Ricci an Italian composer and violinist.
1743 Seth Warner a Revolutionary War officer from Vermont who rose to rank of Continental colonel and was often given the duties of a brigade commander. He is best known for his leadership in the capture of Fort Crown Point, the Battle of Longueuil, the siege of Quebec, the retreat from Canada, and the battles of Hubbardton and Bennington
1747 Johannes van der Kemp a military officer, doctor and philosopher who became a missionary in South Africa.
1749 Edward Jenner an English physician and scientist who was the pioneer of smallpox vaccine, the world's first vaccine. He is often called "the father of immunology", and his work is said to have "saved more lives than the work of any other human"
1758 Sir John St Aubyn 5th Baronet a British Member of Parliament, High Sheriff of Cornwall and Grand Master of the Freemasons.
1758 Honoré IV Prince of Monaco Prince of Monaco and Duke of Valentinois from 12 March 1795 to 16 February 1819. He was the son of Prince Honoré III by his wife, Maria Caterina Brignole, a Genoese noblewoman. After the fall of Napoleon I, he regained control of the principality thanks to a clause added by Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord at the Congress of Vienna stating that, "the Prince of Monaco should return to his estates", and passed on his titles to his eldest son, Honoré V, Prince of Monaco
1768 Henry Paget 1st Marquess of Anglesey a British Army officer and politician. After serving as a Member of Parliament for Carnarvon and then for Milborne Port, he took part in the Flanders Campaign and then commanded the cavalry for Sir John Moore's army in Spain during the Peninsular War; his cavalry showed distinct superiority over their French counterparts at the Battle of Sahagún, where his men captured two French lieutenant colonels and so mauled the French chasseurs that they ceased to exist as a viable regiment. He also commanded the cavalry at the Battle of Benavente, where he defeated the elite chasseurs of the French Imperial Guard
1768 Caroline of Brunswick Queen of the United Kingdom as the wife of King George IV from 29 January 1820 until her death in 1821. Between 1795 and 1820, she was Princess of Wales
1791 Joanna Grudzińska a Polish noble, a Princess of Łowicz and the second wife of Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich of Russia, the de facto viceroy of the Kingdom of Poland. This marriage cost Constantine the crown of Russia
1794 Anna Brownell Jameson a British writer.
1796 Karl Heinrich Mertens a German botanist and naturalist, and son of the botanist Franz Carl Mertens.
1797 Count Karl Ferdinand von Buol an Austrian diplomatist and statesman, who served as Foreign Minister from 1852 to 1859.
1800 Ernst von Bandel a German architect, sculptor and painter.
1802 Miguel de San Román President of Peru for a brief period between 1862 and 1863.
1805 Solomon Dodashvili a Georgian philosopher, journalist, historian, grammarian, belletrist and enlightener.
1817 Heinrich August Jäschke a German Tibetologist missionary and Bible translator. From 1857 to 1868 he was missionary of the Herrnhuter Brüdergemeine in Kyelang, Lahaul District and Spiti in North India
1820 Julia Gardiner Tyler the second wife of John Tyler, the tenth President of the United States, and served as First Lady of the United States from June 26, 1844, to March 4, 1845.
1820 Sergey Solovyov one of the greatest Russian historians whose influence on the next generation of Russian historians was paramount. His son Vladimir Solovyov was one of the most influential Russian philosophers. His older son Vsevolod Solovyov was a historical novelist
1821 Sebastian Kneipp a Bavarian priest and one of the founders of the naturopathic medicine movement. He is most commonly associated with the "Kneipp Cure" form of hydrotherapy, the application of water through various methods, temperatures and pressures which he claimed to have therapeutic or healing effects
1821 Charlotte Sainton-Dolby an English contralto, singing teacher and composer.
1822 Bernhard Cossmann a German cellist. Born in Dessau, he first studied under Theodore Muller. During his life, he worked for the Grand Opera in Paris and became acquainted with Franz Liszt, with whom he went to Weimar. In 1866, Cossmann was appointed professor of cello studies at the Moscow Conservatory. However, in 1878, Cossmann helped found the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt, where he occupied the post of teacher of cello
1826 Otto Pius Hippius a Baltic German architect, particularly noted for several buildings in present-day Estonia.
1828 Levin Goldschmidt a German jurist.
1829 Heinrich Scheel a baltic German architect who lived and worked in Riga. He is considered one of the greatest 19th century Riga architects and has designed more than 40 public and private buildings there
1830 Frédéric Albert Constantin Weber a French botanist.
1833 Benedetto Brin an Italian naval administrator and politician.
1836 Virginie Loveling a Flemish author of poetry, novels, essays and children's stories. She also wrote under the pseudonym E. Walter
1836 Norman Lockyer an English scientist and astronomer. Along with the French scientist Pierre Janssen he is credited with discovering the gas helium. Lockyer also is remembered for being the founder and first editor of the influential journal Nature
1836 Wilhelm Steinitz an Austrian and later American chess player and the first undisputed world chess champion from 1886 to 1894. When discussing chess history from the 1870s onwards, commentators have debated whether Steinitz was effectively the champion earlier. Steinitz lost his title to Emanuel Lasker in 1894 and also lost a rematch in 1896–97
1836 Princess Anna of Prussia a Princess of Prussia. She was usually called Anna
1844 Julius Wellhausen a German biblical scholar and orientalist, noted particularly for his contribution to scholarly understanding of the origin of the Pentateuch/Torah. He is credited with being one of the originators of the documentary hypothesis
1845 Pedro Lira a Chilean painter. He was one of the founders of the Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts
1845 Jacint Verdaguer regarded as one of the greatest poets of Catalan literature and a prominent literary figure of the Renaixença, a national revival movement of the late Romantic era. The bishop Josep Torras i Bages, one of the main figures of Catalan nationalism, called him the "Prince of Catalan poets". He was also known as mossèn Cinto Verdaguer, because of his career as a priest
1851 Aleksander Michałowski a Polish pianist, pedagogue and composer who, in addition to his own immense technique, had a profound influence upon the teaching of pianoforte technique, especially in relation to the works of Chopin and J.S. Bach, and left this legacy among a large number of pupils
1855 Tim Healy (politician) an Irish nationalist politician, journalist, author, barrister and one of the most controversial Irish Members of Parliament in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. His political career began in the 1880s under Charles Stewart Parnell's leadership of the Irish Parliamentary Party , and continued into the 1920s, when he was the first Governor-General of the Irish Free State
1860 August Stradal a Bohemian pianist and music teacher. A student of Anton Bruckner, he made solo piano arrangements of that composer's symphonies 1, 2, 5, 6, and 8. His pianistic credentials included studies with both Theodor Leschetizky and Franz Liszt. He received the Czechoslovak State Award in 1928
1860 Martin Kukučín a Slovak prose writer, dramatist and publicist. He was the most notable representative of Slovak literary realism, and is considered one of the founders of modern Slovak prose
1860 Austin Lane Crothers the 46th Governor of Maryland in the United States from 1908 to 1912.