Born on October 31

1291 Philippe de Vitry a French composer, music theorist and poet. He was an accomplished, innovative, and influential composer, and may also have been the author of the Ars Nova treatise. He was widely acknowledged as the greatest musician of his day, with Petrarch writing a glowing tribute, calling him: "...the keenest and most ardent seeker of truth, so great a philosopher of our age."
1345 Ferdinand I of Portugal the King of Portugal and the Algarve from 1367 until his death.
1391 Edward King of Portugal King of Portugal and the Algarve and second Lord of Ceuta from 1433 until his death. He was born in Viseu, the son of John I of Portugal and his wife, Philippa of Lancaster, a daughter of John of Gaunt. Duarte was the oldest member of the Ínclita Geração
1412 Ludwig I Count of Württemberg-Urach Count of Württemberg. He was a son of count Eberhard IV and Henriette of Montbéliard. He reigned from 1419 until 1450
1424 Władysław III of Poland King of Poland from 1434, and King of Hungary from 1440, until his death at the Battle of Varna.
1451 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
1472 Wang Yangming a Chinese idealist Neo-Confucian philosopher, official, educationist, calligraphist and general during the Ming dynasty. After Zhu Xi, he is commonly regarded as the most important Neo-Confucian thinker, with interpretations of Confucianism that denied the rationalist dualism of the orthodox philosophy of Zhu Wang was known as "Yangming Xiansheng" and/or "Yangming Zi" in literary circles: both mean "Master Yangming"
1542 Henriette of Cleves a French noblewoman and heiress of the Cleves-Nevers family. She was also known as Henriette de La Marck. She became the "suo jure" 4th Duchess of Nevers and the "suo jure" Countess of Rethel, upon the childless death of her brother, James of Cleves, Duke of Nevers and Count of Rethel, in 1564. She was the wife of Louis I Gonzaga, Duke of Nevers, 1st Duke of Rethel, and Prince of Mantua. Following her marriage she became the Duchess of Rethel and Princess of Mantua
1599 Denzil Holles 1st Baron Holles an English statesman and writer, best known as one of the Five Members whose attempted unconstitutional arrest by King Charles I in the House of Commons of England in 1642 sparked the Civil War.
1613 Luisa de Guzmán a queen consort of Portugal. She was the spouse of King John IV, the first Braganza ruler, as well as the mother of two kings of Portugal and a queen of England. She served as regent of Portugal from 1656
1620 John Evelyn an English writer, gardener and diarist.
1629 Charles II Duke of Mantua and Montferrat the son of Charles of Gonzaga-Nevers of Rethel, Nevers, Mantua and Montferrat, and Maria Gonzaga. He followed his grandfather Charles I, Duke of Mantua in 1637 as rulers of these lands, the first 10 years under regency of his mother Duchess Maria. Charles sold the Duchies of Nevers and Rethel in 1659 to Cardinal Jules Mazarin, the factual Regent of France, and they became part of France
1632 Johannes Vermeer a Dutch painter who specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle-class life. Vermeer was a moderately successful provincial genre painter in his lifetime. He seems never to have been particularly wealthy, leaving his wife and children in debt at his death, perhaps because he produced relatively few paintings
1636 Ferdinand Maria Elector of Bavaria a Wittelsbach ruler of Bavaria and an elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 1651 to 1679.
1638 Meindert Hobbema a Dutch Golden Age landscape painter.
1686 Senesino a celebrated Italian contralto castrato, particularly remembered today for his long collaboration with the composer George Frideric Handel.
1692 Anne Claude de Caylus born at Paris.
1694 Yeongjo of Joseon the 21st king of the Korean Joseon Dynasty. He was the second son of Sukjong by Royal Noble Consort Suk of the Haeju Choi clan, and succeeded his older brother Gyeongjong as Prince after considerable controversy
1700 Joseph Blake (criminal) an 18th-century English highwayman and felon.
1705 Pope Clement XIV born Giovanni Vincenzo Antonio Ganganelli, reigned from 19 May 1769 to his death in 1774. At the time of his election, he was the only Franciscan friar in the College of Cardinals. He is the last pope to take the name "Clement" upon his election
1711 Laura Bassi the first woman in the world to earn a university chair in a scientific field of studies. She received a doctoral degree from the University of Bologna in May 1732, only the third academic qualification ever bestowed on a woman by a European university, and the first woman to earn a professorship in physics at a university in Europe. She was the first woman to be offered an official teaching position at a university in Europe
1712 Prince Moritz of Anhalt-Dessau a German prince of the House of Ascania from the Anhalt-Dessau branch. He was also a Prussian soldier and Generalfeldmarschall
1722 Princess Ulrike Friederike Wilhelmine of Hesse-Kassel a member of the House of Hesse-Kassel by birth, and of the House of Holstein-Gottorp through her marriage to Frederick Augustus I, Duke of Oldenburg. Ulrike was the Duchess consort of Oldenburg from 1774 until her husband's death in 6 July 1785
1724 Christopher Anstey an English writer and poet.
1736 Nikolay Saltykov a Russian Field Marshal and imperial courtier.
1737 James Lovell (Continental Congress) an American educator and statesman from Boston, Massachusetts. He was a delegate for Massachusetts to the Continental Congress from 1777 to 1782. He was a signatory to the Articles of Confederation
1740 Philip James de Loutherbourg a Franco-English painter who became known for his large naval works, his elaborate set designs for London theatres, and his invention of a mechanical theatre called the "Eidophusikon". He had an interest in faith-healing and the occult and was a companion of Cagliostro
1747 Johann Karl Wezel a German poet, novelist and philosopher of the Enlightenment.
1748 José Iglesias de la Casa a Spanish priest and poet. He pursued his studies at the University of Salamanca, and in 1783 took Holy orders at Madrid. During his lifetime he published two minor poems, "La niñez Laureada" , and "La Teclogia". Before producing these he had composed his really important poems, which are chiefly satirical and epigrammatical in their nature. In fact, as a satirist he is to be ranked only lower than Francisco de Quevedo. Certain portions of his satirical lyrics provided offense to the authorities, and the 1798 edition of them was put on the Index by the Inquisition. The necessity of this action was denied by some of his warm friends. Among the better-known editions of his works are those of Barcelona , of Paris , and of Madrid. They are most readily accessible in the "Biblioteca de autores Españoles", vol. LXI, which contains about 38 letrillas—in the composition of which he excelled—besides a numbers of satires, epigrams, odes, anacreontics, ecologues, etc. Not long since, some of his unedited poems were published by Foulche-Delbosc, in the "Revue Hispanique", vol. II
1750 Armand duc d'Aiguillon II de Vignerot du Plessis de Richelieu, duke of Aiguillon succeeded his father Emmanuel-Armand de Richelieu, duc d'Aiguillon.
1760 Hokusai a Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter and printmaker of the Edo period. He was influenced by such painters as Sesshu, and other styles of Chinese painting. Born in Edo , Hokusai is best known as author of the woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji which includes the internationally recognized print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, created during the 1820s
1784 José María Pérez de Urdininea the third President of Bolivia and the first to be born in Bolivia itself. He fought with the patriots against the Argentines in Peru. Despite being President for only three months, Pérez held a number of important positions in the Bolivian government including Minister of War between 1841 and 1847
1784 José Rafael Gallegos president of Costa Rica's Junta Superior Gubernativa from October 1822 to January 1823 and head of state of Costa Rica from March 1833 until March 1835 and again from May 1845 to June 1846.
1787 Franz Ernst Heinrich Spitzner a German educator and philologist who specialized in Homeric studies. He was born in Trebitz, Saxony-Anhalt
1790 Francisco Javier de Istúriz y Montero a Spanish politician and diplomat who served as Prime Minister, President of the Senate and President of the Congress of Deputies several times.
1793 James Dunlop a Scottish astronomer, noted for his work in Australia. He served as astronomer's assistant who was hired by Sir Thomas Brisbane to work at his private observatory, once located at Paramatta , New South Wales, about 23 kilometres west of Sydney during the 1820s and 1830s. Dunlop was mostly a visual observer, doing stellar astrometry work for Brisbane, and after its completion, then independently discovered and catalogued many new telescopic southern double stars and deep-sky objects. He later became the Superintendent of Paramatta Observatory when it was finally sold to the New South Wales Government
1795 John Keats an English Romantic poet. He was one of the main figures of the second generation of Romantic poets along with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley despite his work having been in publication for only four years before his death
1802 Benoît Fourneyron a French engineer, born in Saint-Étienne, Loire. Fourneyron made significant contributions to the development of water turbines
1802 Charlotte Bonaparte the daughter of Joseph Bonaparte, the older brother of Emperor Napoleon I, and Julie Clary. Her mother was the sister of Désirée Clary, Napoleon's first love. Charlotte married her first cousin Napoleon Louis, the second son of Louis Bonaparte and Hortense de Beauharnais. She studied engraving and lithography in Paris with the artist Louis Léopold Robert, who is reputed to have fallen in love with her
1815 Karl Weierstrass a German mathematician often cited as the "father of modern analysis". Despite leaving university without a degree, he studied mathematics and trained as a teacher, eventually teaching mathematics, physics, botany and gymnastics
1815 Andrew Jackson Downing an American landscape designer, horticulturalist, and writer, a prominent advocate of the Gothic Revival style in the United States, and editor of The Horticulturist magazine. Many scholars consider Downing to be "The Father of American Landscape Architecture," although some scholars have bestowed that title upon Frederick Law Olmsted
1821 Karel Havlíček Borovský a Czech writer, poet, critic, politician, journalist, and publisher. He lived and studied at the Gymnasium in Německý Brod , and his house on the main square is today the Havlíček Museum. In 1838 he moved to Prague to study philosophy at Charles University and, influenced by the revolutionary atmosphere before the 1848, decided on the objective of becoming a patriotic writer. He devoted himself to studying Czech and literature. After graduating he began studying theology because he thought the best way to serve the nation would be as a priest. He was expelled, however, after one year for "showing too little indication for spiritual ministry"
1825 Charles Lavigerie a French cardinal, archbishop of Carthage and Algiers and primate of Africa. A Catholic priest who became a bishop in France, Lavigerie established French Catholic missions and missionary orders to work across Africa. Lavigerie promoted Catholicism among the Arabs and Berbers of North Africa, as well as the black natives further south. He was equally ardent to transform them into French subjects. He crusaded against the slave trade, for which he founded the order of priests called the White Fathers, so named for their white cassocks and red fezzes. He also established similar orders of brothers and nuns. He sent his missionaries to the Sahara, Sudan, Tunisia, and Tripolitania. His efforts were supported by the Pope and German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. Although anti-clericalism was a major issue in France, the secular leader Léon Gambetta proclaimed that “anti-clericalism is not an article for export,” and supported his work
1825 Eugen Kvaternik a Croatian nationalist politician and one of the founders of the Party of Rights, alongside Ante Starčević. Kvaternik was the leader of the 1871 Rakovica Revolt which was an attempt to create an independent Croatian state, at the time when it was part of Austria-Hungary. In order to get foreign support for his cause Kvaternik visited the Russian Empire, France and the Kingdom of Sardinia. He was also very known for anti-Austro-Hungarian speeches that he made as member of Croatian Parliament
1827 Richard Morris Hunt an American architect of the nineteenth century and a preeminent figure in the history of American architecture. Hunt was, according to design critic Paul Goldberger writing in The New York Times, "American architecture's first, and in many ways its greatest, statesman." Aside from Hunt's sculpting of the face of New York City, including designs for the facade and Great Hall of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty and many Fifth Avenue mansions lost to the wrecking ball, Hunt founded both the American Institute of Architects and the Municipal Art Society
1828 Joseph Swan a British physicist and chemist. He is most famous for inventing an incandescent light bulb
1830 Robert Radecke a German composer.
1831 Paul Durand-Ruel associated with the Impressionists. He was one of the first modern art dealers who provided support to his painters with stipends and solo exhibitions
1831 Daniel Butterfield a New York businessman, a Union General in the American Civil War, and Assistant U.S. Treasurer in New York. He received the Medal of Honor for his service during the Civil War; during the war he was credited with composing the bugle call Taps. In later life, he was involved in the Black Friday gold scandal in the Grant administration
1835 Adolf von Baeyer a German chemist who synthesized indigo, and was the 1905 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.