Born on May 18

905 Constantine VII the fourth Emperor of the Macedonian dynasty of the Byzantine Empire, reigning from 913 to 959. He was the son of the emperor Leo VI and his fourth wife, Zoe Karbonopsina, and the nephew of his predecessor, the emperor Alexander
1048 Omar Khayyám a sufi mystic, Persian polymath, philosopher, mathematician, astronomer and poet. He also wrote treatises on mechanics, geography, mineralogy, music, and Islamic theology
1186 Konstantin of Rostov the eldest son of Vsevolod the Big Nest and Maria Shvarnovna.
1296 William de Valence 1st Earl of Pembroke a French nobleman and Knight, who became important in English politics due to his relationship to Henry III. He was heavily involved in the Second Barons' War, supporting the King and Prince Edward against the rebels led by Simon de Montfort. He took the name de Valence
1450 Piero Soderini an Italian statesman of the Republic of Florence.
1474 Isabella d'Este Marchesa of Mantua and one of the leading women of the Italian Renaissance as a major cultural and political figure. She was a patron of the arts as well as a leader of fashion, whose innovative style of dressing was copied by women throughout Italy and at the French court. The poet Ariosto labeled her as the "liberal and magnanimous Isabella", while author Matteo Bandello described her as having been "supreme among women". Diplomat Niccolò da Correggio went even further by hailing her as "The First Lady of the world"
1610 Stefano della Bella an Italian draughtsman and printmaker known for etchings of a great variety of subjects, including military and court scenes, landscapes, and lively genre scenes. He left 1052 prints, and several thousand drawings, but only one known painting. He was born and died in Florence, Italy
1662 George Smalridge an English bishop.
1692 Joseph Butler an English bishop, theologian, apologist, and philosopher. He was born in Wantage in the English county of Berkshire. He is known, among other things, for his critique of Thomas Hobbes's egoism and John Locke's theory of personal identity. During his life and after his death, Butler influenced many philosophers, including David Hume, Thomas Reid, and Adam Smith
1710 Johann II Bernoulli the youngest of the three sons of Johann Bernoulli. He studied law and mathematics, and, after travelling in France, was for five years professor of eloquence in the university of his native city. In 1736 awarded the prize of the French Academy for his suggestive studies of Aether. On the death of his father he succeeded him as professor of mathematics. He was thrice a successful competitor for the prizes of the Academy of Sciences of Paris. His prize subjects were, the capstan, the propagation of light, and the magnet. He enjoyed the friendship of L. de Maupertuis, who died under his roof while on his way to Berlin. He himself died in 1790. His two sons, Johann and Jakob, are the last noted mathematicians of the Bernoulli family
1711 Roger Joseph Boscovich a physicist, astronomer, mathematician, philosopher, diplomat, poet, theologian, Jesuit priest, and a polymath from the city of Dubrovnik in the Republic of Ragusa , who studied and lived in Italy and France where he also published many of his works.
1714 Ivan Botsis a Russian admiral and one of the founders of the Imperial Russian Navy under Peter the Great.
1724 Magtymguly Pyragy a Turkmen spiritual leader and philosophical poet who made significant efforts to secure independence and autonomy for his people in the 18th century.
1736 Friedrich Wilhelm von Erdmannsdorff a German architect and architectural theoretician, and one of the most significant representatives of early German Neoclassicism. His work included Wörlitz House in Wörlitzer Park near Dessau, one of the earliest classical houses on the European continent. His most well-known student was Friedrich Gilly, the teacher of Karl Friedrich Schinkel
1744 Joseph Beer (clarinetist) one of the first internationally famous clarinet virtuosos, with connections to many major composers of the era.
1746 Félix de Azara a Spanish military officer, naturalist, and engineer.
1750 Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla a Mexican Catholic priest and a leader of the Mexican War of Independence.
1756 Ignaz Aurelius Fessler a Hungarian ecclesiastic, politician, historian and freemason.
1774 Gaetano Rossi an Italian opera librettist for several of the well-known bel canto-era composers including Gioachino Rossini, Gaetano Donizetti, and Saverio Mercadante in Italy and Giacomo Meyerbeer in one of his early Italian successes. Other composers with whom he worked included Simon Mayr, a composer and Donizetti's teacher, as well as the prolific Giovanni Pacini
1777 John George Children a British chemist, mineralogist and zoologist.
1778 Andrew Ure a Scottish doctor, scholar, chemist. and early business theorist.
1778 Charles Vane 3rd Marquess of Londonderry a British soldier, politician and nobleman.
1782 Ludwig Adolf Wilhelm von Lützow a Prussian lieutenant general notable for his organization and command of the Lützow Freikorps of volunteers during the Napoleonic Wars. He came from the House of Mecklenburg, his father was a Prussian Major General Johann Adolph von Lützow , and his mother, Wilhelmine
1785 John Wilson (Scottish writer) a Scottish advocate, literary critic and author, the writer most frequently identified with the pseudonym Christopher North of Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine.
1788 Hugh Clapperton a Scottish naval officer and explorer of West and Central Africa.
1795 Celestino Cavedoni an Italian ecclesiastic, archeologist, and numismatist.
1797 Frederick Augustus II of Saxony King of Saxony and a member of the House of Wettin.
1804 Jules Dupuit an Italian-born French civil engineer and economist.
1808 Venancio Flores a Uruguayan political leader and general. Flores was President of Uruguay from 1854 to 1855 and from 1865 to 1868
1810 Francesco Maria Piave an Italian opera librettist who was born in Murano in the lagoon of Venice, during the brief Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy.
1812 Francisco Coll Guitart a priest of the Order of Preachers and founded the Dominican Sisters of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 29 April 1979 and canonized on 11 October 2009 by Benedict XVI
1812 Adolph Eduard Grube a German Zoologist.
1813 Franz Ludwig Fick a professor of anatomy at the University of Marburg.
1822 Mathew Brady one of the first American photographers, best known for his scenes of the Civil War.
1824 Wilhelm Hofmeister a German biologist and botanist. He "stands as one of the true giants in the history of biology and belongs in the same pantheon as Darwin and Mendel." He was largely self-taught
1826 Émile-Justin Menier born in Paris. In 1853, on the death of his father, Antoine, Émile-Justin Menier inherited a large and successful Parisian company that manufactured a range of medicinal powders
1840 Brother Walfrid an Irish Marist Brother and the founder of Celtic Football Club.
1845 Wilhelm Gericke an Austrian-born conductor and composer who worked in Vienna and Boston.
1848 Hermann Alexander Diels a German classical scholar.
1850 Oliver Heaviside a self-taught English electrical engineer, mathematician, and physicist who adapted complex numbers to the study of electrical circuits, invented mathematical techniques for the solution of differential equations , reformulated Maxwell's field equations in terms of electric and magnetic forces and energy flux, and independently co-formulated vector analysis. Although at odds with the scientific establishment for most of his life, Heaviside changed the face of mathematics and science for years to come
1851 James Budd an American lawyer and Democratic politician. Involved in federal and state politics, Budd was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for the 2nd California district from 1883 to 1885, and later elected as the 19th Governor of California from 1895 until 1899
1852 I. L. Peretz Isaac Leib Peretz , best known as L. Peretz, was a Yiddish language author and playwright. Payson Stevens, Charles Levine, and Sol Steinmetz count him with Mendele Mokher Seforim and Sholem Aleichem as one of the three great classical Yiddish writers. Sol Liptzin wrote: "Yitzkhok Leibush Peretz was the great awakener of Yiddish-speaking Jewry, and Sholom Aleichem its comforter... Peretz aroused in his readers the will for self-emancipation, the will for resistance..."
1852 Gertrude Käsebier one of the most influential American photographers of the early 20th century. She was known for her evocative images of motherhood, her powerful portraits of Native Americans and her promotion of photography as a career for women
1854 Bernard Zweers a Dutch composer and music teacher.
1855 Francis Bellamy a Christian socialist minister and author, best known for writing the American Pledge of Allegiance.
1862 Josephus Daniels a newspaper editor and publisher from North Carolina who was appointed by United States President Woodrow Wilson to serve as Secretary of the Navy during World War He was also a close friend and supporter of President Franklin Roosevelt and served as his Ambassador to Mexico, 1933-41.
1864 Feliks Kon a Polish communist activist.
1864 Jan Veth a Dutch painter, poet, art critic and university lecturer. He is especially noted as a portrait painter. Amongst his sitters were Max Liebermann, Lambertus Zijl, Frank van der Goes, Antoon Derkinderen and other contemporaries including various fellow painters
1868 Canonization of the Romanovs Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, his wife Tsarina Alexandra, and their five children Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and Alexei are saints of the Orthodox Church. The family was killed on 17 July 1918 by the Bolsheviks at the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg, Russia; the site of their execution is now beneath the altar of the The Church on Blood
1868 Nicholas II of Russia the last Emperor of Russia, Grand Duke of Finland, and titular King of Poland. His official short title was Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias. Like other Russian Emperors he is commonly known by the monarchical title Tsar. He is known as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer by the Russian Orthodox Church and has been referred to as Saint Nicholas the Martyr