Died on May 20

685 Ecgfrith of Northumbria the King of Deira from 664 until 670, and then King of Northumbria from 670 until his death, succeeding his father Oswiu. He ruled over Northumbria when it was at the height of its power, but his reign ended with a disastrous defeat at the Battle of Nechtansmere in which he lost his life
794 Æthelberht II of East Anglia an eighth-century saint and a king of East Anglia, the Anglo-Saxon kingdom which today includes the English counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. Little is known of his reign, which may have begun in 779, according to later sources, and very few of the coins issued during his reign have been discovered. It is known from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle that he was killed on the orders of Offa of Mercia in 794
965 Gero I , called the Great , ruled an initially modest march centred on Merseburg, which he expanded into a vast territory named after him: the marca Geronis. During the mid-10th century, he was the leader of the Saxon Drang nach Osten
1062 Bao Zheng a government officer during the reign of Emperor Renzong in ancient China's Song Dynasty. During his twenty five years in civil service, Bao consistently demonstrated extreme honesty and uprightness, with actions such as sentencing his own uncle, impeaching an uncle of Emperor Renzong's favourite concubine and punishing powerful families. His appointment from 1057 to 1058 as the prefect of Song's capital Kaifeng, where he initiated a number of changes to better hear the grievances of the people, made him a legendary figure
1277 Pope John XXI Pope from 13 September 1276 to his death in 1277. A Portuguese often identified with Pedro Hispano , he was the only Portuguese pope, although Damasus I can also be considered Portuguese, as he was born in territory that is nowadays in Portugal
1285 John II of Jerusalem the eldest son of Hugh III of Cyprus and Isabella of Ibelin. He succeeded his father as King of Cyprus on March 24 and was crowned at Santa Sophia, Nicosia on May 11, 1284. His succession as King of Jerusalem was opposed by Charles of Anjou, who had also disrupted his father's succession. John died the following year on 20 May, having never married and leaving no children. He was buried in the church of Demetrius or according to some Santa Sophia, in Nicosia. According to some authors he was poisoned by his brothers, one of whom, Henry II, succeeded him in Cyprus and Jerusalem. He died unmarried and without issue
1444 Bernardino of Siena a Catholic saint. He is known in the Roman Catholic Church as “the Apostle of Italy” for his efforts to revive the country's Catholic faith during the 15th century. His preaching was frequently directed against gambling, witchcraft, sodomy and usury - particularly as practiced by Jews
1449 Peter Duke of Coimbra a Portuguese infante of the House of Aviz, son of King John I of Portugal and his wife Philippa of Lancaster, daughter of John of Gaunt. In Portugal he is better known as Infante Pedro das Sete Partidas , "of the Seven Parts " because of his travels. Possibly the most well-travelled prince of his time, he was regent between 1439 and 1448. He was also 1st Lord of Montemor-o-Velho, Aveiro, Tentúgal, Cernache, Pereira, Condeixa and Lousã
1503 Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici an Italian banker and politician, and the brother of Giovanni il Popolano. He belonged to the junior branch of the House of Medici of Florence
1506 Christopher Columbus a Genoese explorer, navigator, and colonizer, born in the Republic of Genoa. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean. Those voyages, and his efforts to establish permanent settlements on the island of Hispaniola, initiated the Spanish colonization of the New World
1550 Ashikaga Yoshiharu the twelfth shogun of the Ashikaga shogunate who held the reins of supreme power from 1521 through 1546 during the late Muromachi period of Japan. He was the son of the eleventh shogun Ashikaga Yoshizumi
1648 Władysław IV Vasa a Polish and Swedish prince from the House of Vasa. He reigned as King of Poland from 8 November 1632 to his death in 1648
1650 Francesco Sacrati an Italian composer of the Baroque era, who played an important role in the early history of opera. He wrote for the Teatro Novissimo in Venice as well as touring his operas throughout Italy. His most famous piece is La finta pazza , said to be the first opera ever performed in France. The manuscript of this work was long thought to be lost but a touring edition of the manuscript was discovered by musicologist Lorenzo Bianconi in 1984. Some of the music bears striking similarities to the score of Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea, prompting scholars to speculate that Sacrati had a part in composing the surviving version of that opera. The United States premiere of La finta pazza, and first performance outside Europe, occurred in April 2010 at Yale University
1677 George Digby 2nd Earl of Bristol an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1640 until 1641 when he was raised to the House of Lords. He supported the Royalist cause in the English Civil War but his ambition and instability of character caused serious problems to himself and the Kings he served
1701 Christiana of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg the consort of Christian I, Duke of Saxe-Merseburg, who was the ruling Duke of Saxe-Merseburg from 1650 until his death.
1712 Christian Ernst Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth a member of the House of Hohenzollern and Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth.
1713 Thomas Sprat born at Beaminster, Dorset, and educated at Wadham College, Oxford, where he held a fellowship from 1657 to 1670.
1717 John Trevor (speaker) a Welsh lawyer and politician. He was Speaker of the English House of Commons from 1685 to 1687 and from 1689 to 1695. Trevor also served as Master of the Rolls from 1685 to 1689 and from 1693 to 1717. His second term as Speaker came to an end when he was expelled from the House of Commons for accepting a substantial bribe. He remained the most recent Speaker to be forced out of office until Michael Martin resigned in 2009
1722 Sébastien Vaillant a French botanist.
1732 Thomas Boston a Scottish church leader, theologian and philosopher.
1755 Johann Georg Gmelin a German naturalist, botanist and geographer.
1782 William Emerson (mathematician) born at Hurworth, near Darlington, where his father, Dudley Emerson, also a mathematician, taught a school. William himself had a small estate in Weardale called Castle Gate situated not far from Eastgate where he would repair to work throughout the Summer on projects as disparate as stonemasonry and watchmaking. Unsuccessful as a teacher, he devoted himself entirely to studious retirement. Possessed of remarkable energy and forthrightness of speech, Emerson published many works which are singularly free from errata
1792 Antoine Louis a French surgeon and physiologist who was born in Metz.
1793 Charles Bonnet born at Geneva, of a French family driven into the region by the religious persecution in the 16th century.
1812 Count Hieronymus von Colloredo Prince-Bishop of Gurk from 1761 to 1772 and Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg from 1771 until 1803, when the prince-archbishopric was secularized. After secularization, Colloredo continued until his death in 1812 as archbishop of Salzburg, but bereft of temporal power
1820 Karl Ludwig Sand a German university student and member of a liberal Burschenschaft. He was executed in 1820 for the murder of the conservative dramatist August von Kotzebue the previous year in Mannheim. As a result of his execution, Sand became a martyr in the eyes of many German nationalists seeking the creation of a united German national state
1832 Johann Michael Sailer a German Jesuit professor of theology and Bishop of Ratisbon.
1834 Victor de Fay de La Tour-Maubourg a French cavalry commander starting under the Ancien Régime of France, and rising to prominence during the First French Empire. He was a diplomat after the Bourbon Restoration, where he served as Minister of War, from 1819-1821
1834 Gilbert du Motier Marquis de Lafayette a French aristocrat and military officer who fought for the United States in the American Revolutionary War, and was a close friend of George Washington. Lafayette was a key figure in the French Revolution of 1789 and the July Revolution of 1830
1837 Prince Frederick of Hesse-Kassel a younger member of the dynasty that ruled the Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel and a Danish general.
1839 Ernst zu Münster a German statesman, politician and minister in the service of the House of Hanover.
1841 Joseph Blanco White a Spanish theologian and poet.
1849 Marie Dorval a French actress.
1851 Stanko Vraz a Croatian-Slovenian poet. He Slavicized his name to Stanko Vraz in 1836
1854 Karl Ludwig von Haller a Swiss jurist. He was the author of Restauration der Staatswissenschaften , a book which Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel strongly criticized in Elements of the Philosophy of Right. This work, which was burnt during the Wartburg festival, opposed nationalism and the bureaucracy of extensive government
1857 Ivan Franjo Jukić remembered as one of the founders of Bosnian modernism.
1858 Philipp Maximilian Opiz a Czech-German forester and botanist.
1859 Josip Jelačić the Ban of Croatia between 23 March 1848 and 19 May 1859. He was a member of the House of Jelačić and a noted army general, remembered for his military campaigns during the Revolutions of 1848 and for his abolition of serfdom in Croatia
1864 Stepan Shevyryov a conservative Russian literary historian and poet, a virulent critic of "the rotting West", and leading representative of the Official Nationality theory.
1864 John Clare an English poet, the son of a farm labourer, who came to be known for his celebratory representations of the English countryside and his lamentation of its disruption. His poetry underwent a major re-evaluation in the late 20th century, and he is now often considered to be among the most important 19th-century poets. His biographer Jonathan Bate states that Clare was "the greatest labouring-class poet that England has ever produced. No one has ever written more powerfully of nature, of a rural childhood, and of the alienated and unstable self"
1873 George-Étienne Cartier a French-Canadian statesman and Father of Confederation. The English spelling of the name, George, instead of Georges, the usual French spelling, is explained by his having been named in honour of King George III
1875 Amalia of Oldenburg queen consort of Greece from 1836 to 1862 as the spouse of King Otto.
1876 Johann Heinrich Kaltenbach a German naturalist and entomologist mainly interested in pest species. He was a teacher in Aachen
1880 Ana Néri a Brazilian nurse, considered the first in her country. She is best known for her volunteer work with the Triple Alliance during the Paraguayan War
1881 Prosper Duvergier de Hauranne a French journalist and politician.
1885 Frederick Theodore Frelinghuysen a member of the United States Senate representing New Jersey and a United States Secretary of State.
1893 Jacob Moleschott a Dutch physiologist and writer on dietetics. He is known for his philosophical views in regards to "scientific materialism"
1893 Charles Pritchard a British astronomer, clergyman, and educational reformer.
1894 Edmund Yates a British novelist and dramatist. He was born in Edinburgh to the actor and theatre manager Frederick Henry Yates and held an appointment for a period in the General Post Office as an adult. He worked as a journalist, mainly as a dramatic writer, and also wrote many dramatic pieces and some novels, including Running the Gauntlet and The Black Sheep
1896 Clara Schumann a German musician and composer, considered one of the most distinguished pianists of the Romantic era. She exerted her influence over a 61-year concert career, changing the format and repertoire of the piano recital and the tastes of the listening public. Her husband was the composer Robert Schumann. Together they encouraged Johannes Brahms. She was the first to perform publicly any work by Brahms. She later premiered some other pieces by Brahms, notably the Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel