Celebrities born in 1694
  • Voltaire

    Francois Arouet, better known by his pen name Voltaire, was a literary genius whose brilliant writings often caused extreme controversy during his time. His prolific writings often attacked popular philosophical or religious beliefs. Many of his works were critical of political institutions resulting in his prosecution, including jail and exile. His works often evoked similar reactions from the masses who, on more than one occasion in more than one city, have burnt and destroyed his books. His extreme criticism earned him numerous enemies. He criticized his government as being ineffective, the common people as ignorant, the church as static, and the aristocracy as corrupt and parasitic. He became personal enemies with the Roman Catholic Church, the French Government, the Bible and the general masses. Despite this, he was far ahead of the times in his crusade for civil rights. He proclaimed the importance of freedom of religion, the right to a fair trial, the separation of church and state, and the freedom of speech. He produced writing in nearly every form including over 21,000 letters, 2,000 books and pamphlets, novels, essays, poetry, plays, historical works, and even scientific experimental works. Despite a life full of controversy, today he considered one of history's greatest writers and philosophers

    Voltaire

  • John Michael Rysbrack

    Flemish sculptor known for his busts and funerary monuments. He sculpted a portrait of Inigo Jones in Chiswick House, London.

    John Michael Rysbrack

  • William Shirley

    During the 1740s and '50s, this colonial governor presided over the Massachusetts Bay Province and played a key role in planning the Siege of Louisbourg during the third French and Indian War (also known as King George's War). Later in his political career, he served as Governor of the Bahamas.

    William Shirley