Born on May 19

1476 Helena of Moscow daughter of Ivan III the Great, Grand Prince of Moscow, and an uncrowned Grand Duchess of Lithuania and Queen of Poland as she would not convert from Eastern Orthodoxy to Catholicism. Her childless marriage to Grand Duke of Lithuania and later King of Poland Alexander Jagiellon was a constant source of tension between the Grand Duchy of Moscow and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Instead of guaranteeing peace, Helena's marriage gave her father Ivan III an excuse to interfere in Lithuanian affairs accusing Alexander of mistreating Helena and repressing Orthodox believers. This became the pretext to renew the Muscovite–Lithuanian War in 1500. The war ended with a six-year truce in 1503; the Grand Duchy of Lithuania lost about a third of its territory. Despite political tensions and religious differences, the marriage was a loving one and the royal couple was close. After her husband's death in 1506, Helena wanted to return to Moscow but was not allowed. When she planned to run away, she was arrested and reportedly poisoned
1593 Jacob Jordaens one of three Flemish Baroque painters, along with Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck, to bring prestige to the Antwerp school of painting. Unlike those contemporaries he never traveled abroad to study Italian painting, and his career is marked by an indifference to their intellectual and courtly aspirations. In fact, except for a few short trips to locations in the Low Countries, he remained in Antwerp his entire life. As well as being a successful painter, he was a prominent designer of tapestries. Like Rubens, Jordaens painted altarpieces, mythological, and allegorical scenes, and after 1640—the year Rubens died—he was the most important painter in Antwerp for large-scale commissions and the status of his patrons increased in general. However, he is best known today for his numerous large genre scenes based on proverbs in the manner of his contemporary Jan Brueghel the Elder, depicting The King Drinks and As the Old Sing, So Pipe the Young. Jordaens's main artistic influences, besides Rubens and the Brueghel family, were northern Italian painters such as Jacopo Bassano, Paolo Veronese, and Caravaggio
1593 Claude Vignon a leading French painter and engraver working in the Baroque manner.
1616 Johann Jakob Froberger a German Baroque composer, keyboard virtuoso, and organist. He was among the most famous composers of the era and influenced practically every major composer in Europe by developing the genre of keyboard suite and contributing greatly to the exchange of musical traditions through his many travels. He is also remembered for his highly idiomatic and personal descriptive harpsichord pieces, which are among the earliest known examples of program music
1669 Philip William Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt a Prussian Prince, was the first owner of the Prussian secundogeniture of Brandenburg-Schwedt and governor of Magdeburg from 1692 to 1711.
1673 Frederick III Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg a Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg.
1678 Francesco Farnese Duke of Parma reigned as the seventh and penultimate Farnese Duke of Parma and Piacenza from 1694 until his death. Married to Dorothea Sophia of the Palatinate, his brother Odoardo's widow, to avoid the return of her dowry, Francesco curtailed court expenditure, enormous under his father and predecessor, Ranuccio II, while preventing the occupation of his Duchy of Parma, nominally a Papal fief, during the War of the Spanish Succession
1700 José de Escandón 1st Count of Sierra Gorda a Spanish Indian-fighter in New Spain and the founder and first governor of the colony of Nuevo Santander, which extended from the Pánuco River in the modern-day Mexican state of Veracruz to the Guadalupe River in the U.S. state of Texas.
1724 Augustus Hervey 3rd Earl of Bristol a British admiral and politician.
1738 Mikhail Kamensky a Russian Field Marshal prominent in the Catherinian wars and the Napoleonic campaigns.
1740 Joseph Franz Weigl a Bavarian and Austrian cellist. He was a cellist in the orchestra of the Esterházy family. He played under the directorship of Joseph Haydn, who also was godfather to the cellist's son, and it is thought that Haydn wrote his cello concerto in C major for him
1744 Constantine Phipps 2nd Baron Mulgrave an English explorer and officer in the Royal Navy. He served during the Seven Years' War and the American War of Independence, seeing action in a number of battles and engagements. Inheriting a title, he also went on to have a successful career in Parliament, and occupied a number of political offices during his later years
1744 Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz the wife of King George III. She was Queen of Great Britain and Ireland from their marriage until the union of the two kingdoms in 1801, after which she was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until her death in 1818. She was also the Electress of Hanover in the Holy Roman Empire until the promotion of her husband to King of Hanover on 12 October 1814, after which she was also queen consort of Hanover
1746 Johann Friedrich Peter an American composer of German origin. He emigrated to the United States in 1770, and for a time served as an organist and violinist with Unity of the Brethren congregations in North Carolina and Pennsylvania. As a composer he wrote mostly anthems; also included in his output are six string quintets for two violins, two violas, and a violoncello, among the earliest examples of chamber music known by a North American composer. The six string quintets, performed by the American Moravian Chamber Ensemble, were recorded and published in 1997 on New World Records 80507-2
1762 Johann Gottlieb Fichte a German philosopher. He was one of the founding figures of the philosophical movement known as German idealism, which developed from the theoretical and ethical writings of Immanuel Kant. Fichte is often perceived as a figure whose philosophy forms a bridge between the ideas of Kant and those of the German Idealist Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Recently, philosophers and scholars have begun to appreciate Fichte as an important philosopher in his own right due to his original insights into the nature of self-consciousness or self-awareness. Like Descartes and Kant before him, he was motivated by the problem of subjectivity and consciousness. Fichte also wrote works of political philosophy and is considered one of the fathers of German nationalism
1771 Rahel Varnhagen a German writer who hosted one of the most prominent salons in Europe during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. She is the subject of a celebrated biography, Rahel Varnhagen: The Life of a Jewess , written by Hannah Arendt. Arendt cherished Varnhagen as her "closest friend, though she ha been dead for some hundred years". The asteroid 100029 Varnhagen is named in her honour
1771 Hendrik George de Perponcher Sedlnitsky a Dutch general and diplomat. He commanded the 2nd Netherlands Division at the Battle of Quatre Bras and the Battle of Waterloo
1773 Arthur Aikin an English chemist, mineralogist and scientific writer.
1773 Jean Charles Léonard de Sismondi Simonde, was a writer born at Geneva. He is best known for his works on French and Italian history, and his economic ideas
1778 Ludwik Michał Pac a Polish general in the Napoleonic army. His parents were Michał Józef Pac and Ludwika Tyzenhaus
1782 Ivan Paskevich an imperial Russian military leader. For his victories, he was made Count of Erivan in 1828 and Namestnik of the Kingdom of Poland in 1831. He attained the rank of field marshal in the Russian army, and later in the Prussian and Austrian armies
1794 Carlos Miguel Fitz-James Stuart 14th Duke of Alba a Spanish aristocrat.
1795 Johns Hopkins an American entrepreneur, abolitionist and philanthropist of 19th-century Baltimore, Maryland.
1797 Maria Isabel of Portugal an Infanta of Portugal who became the Queen of Spain as the second wife of Ferdinand VII of Spain.
1800 George Washington Whistler a prominent American railroad engineer in the first half of the 19th century.
1812 Lady Charlotte Guest an English translator and business woman. An important figure in the study of Welsh language and literature, she is best known for her pioneering translation from Welsh into English of several medieval tales to which she gave the name Mabinogion
1814 Henry William Ravenel an American planter and botanist. He studied fungi and cryptogams in South Carolina, discovering a large number of new species. The genus Ravenelia is named after him, along with many of the species he discovered
1819 Count Nikolay Adlerberg Vladimirovich Adlerberg , Councilor of State, Chamberlain, governor of Taganrog, Simferopol and Finland.
1821 Vjekoslav Karas a Croatian painter, considered a pioneer of a new era of Croatian painting and art in general.
1824 Nana Sahib an Indian, Maratha aristocrat, who led the Kanpur rebellion during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. As the adopted son of the exiled Maratha Peshwa Baji Rao II, he was entitled to a pension from the English East India Company. The Company's refusal to continue the pension after his father's death, as well as its generally arrogant policies, compelled him to revolt and seek freedom from company rule in India
1827 Richard Irving Dodge a colonel in the United States Army. Dodge was born in North Carolina and died after a long and successful career in the U.S. Army. He began as a cadet in 1844 and retired as a Colonel May 19, 1891
1827 Paul-Armand Challemel-Lacour a French statesman.
1839 Alice Mary Smith an English composer. Her compositions included two symphonies and some large choral works
1849 Adrien Lachenal a Swiss politician.
1854 Konstantin Smirnov a general in the Imperial Russian Army.
1856 Oreste Giorgi a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church and was former Major Penitentiary of Apostolic Penitentiary.
1857 John Jacob Abel an influential American biochemist and pharmacologist.
1860 Vittorio Emanuele Orlando an Italian diplomat and political figure. He was prime minister of Italy during World War I and was one of the Big Four leaders that built the world order after that war. He was a controversial figure: while some authors criticize his way to represent Italy in the 1919 Paris Peace Conference because of the constrasts with his foreign minister Sidney Sonnino, he was also known as The "Premier of Victory" for defeating the Central Powers along with the Entente in World War He was also member and president of the Constitutional Assembly that changed the Italian form of government into a Republic. Aside from his prominent political role Orlando is also known for his writings, over a hundred works, on legal and judicial issues; Orlando was a professor of law
1861 Nellie Melba an Australian operatic soprano. She became one of the most famous singers of the late Victorian Era and the early 20th century. She was the first Australian to achieve international recognition as a classical musician. She took the pseudonym "Melba" from Melbourne, Victoria, her home town
1862 João do Canto e Castro a Portuguese Navy officer and the fifth President of the Portuguese Republic from December 16, 1918 to October 5, 1919.
1864 Carl Akeley a taxidermist, sculptor, biologist, conservationist, inventor, and nature photographer, noted for his contributions to American museums, most notably to the Field Museum of Natural History and the American Museum of Natural History. He is considered the father of modern taxidermy. He was the founder of the AMNH Exhibitions Lab, the interdisciplinary department that fuses scientific research with immersive design
1868 John Fillmore Hayford an eminent United States geodesist.
1870 Albert Fish an American serial killer. He was also known as the Gray Man, the Werewolf of Wysteria, the Brooklyn Vampire, the Moon Maniac, and The Boogey Man. A child rapist and cannibal, he boasted that he "had children in every state", and at one time stated the number was about 100. However, it is not known whether he was talking about rapes or cannibalization, less still whether he was telling the truth. He was a suspect in at least five murders during his lifetime. Fish confessed to three murders that police were able to trace to a known homicide, and he confessed to stabbing at least two other people. He was put on trial for the kidnapping and murder of Grace Budd, and was convicted and executed by electric chair
1870 Hans Baluschek a German painter, graphic artist and writer.
1871 Walter Russell an American polymath known for his achievements as a painter, sculptor, author and builder and less well known as a natural philosopher and for his unified theory in physics and cosmogony. He posited that the universe was founded on a unifying principle of rhythmic balanced interchange. This physical theory, laid out primarily in his books The Secret of Light and The Message of the Divine Iliad , has not been accepted by mainstream scientists. Russell asserted that this was mainly due to a difference in the assumptions made about the existence of mind and matter; Russell assumes the existence of mind as cause while he believes that scientists in general assume the existence of mind as effect. Russell was also proficient in philosophy, music, ice skating, and was a professor at the institution he founded, the University of Science and Philosophy. He believed mediocrity is self-inflicted and genius is self-bestowed. The content of his public lectures and his writing about living philosophy place him firmly in the New Thought Movement
1871 Pietro Boetto an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Archbishop of Genoa from 1938 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1935.
1874 Gilbert Jessop an English cricket player, often reckoned to have been the fastest run-scorer cricket has ever known He was Wisden Cricketer of the Year for 1898.
1877 Avel Enukidze Safronovich Enukidze Georgian: აბელ ენუქიძე, Georgian pronunciation: ; Russian: Авель Сафронович Енукидзе; , a prominent "Old Bolshevik" and, at one point, a member of the Soviet Central Committee in Moscow. In 1932, along with Mikhail Kalinin and Vyacheslav Molotov, Enukidze co-signed the infamous "Law of Spikelets"
1878 Alfred Laliberté a Canadian sculptor and painter based in Montreal. His output includes more than 900 sculptures in bronze, marble, wood, and plaster. Many of his sculptures depict national figures and events in Canada and France such as Louis Hebert, François-Xavier-Antoine Labelle, Adam Dollard des Ormeaux, and the Lower Canada Rebellion. Although he produced hundreds of paintings as well, he is chiefly remembered for his work as a sculptor
1878 Nikolay Nikolsky Vasilyevich Nikolsky - Russian historian, ethnographer, folklorist, lexicographer of Chuvash ethnicity.