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Births: Robert Herrick, poet, baptised 1591; George Stubbs, animal and portrait painter, 1724; William Wilberforce, philanthropist, 1759; Eugene-Francois Vidocq, adventurer and detective, 1775; James Weddell, Antarctic explorer, 1787; Francois-Clement Theodore Dubois, composer and organist, 1837; Felix Josef Mottl, composer, 1856; Sir Max (Henry Maximilian) Beerbohm, writer and caricaturist, 1872; Jean Rhys, novelist, 1894; Jorge Luis Borges, writer, 1899; Graham Vivian Sutherland, artist, 1903.

Deaths: Pliny the Elder, naturalist and writer, 79; Alaric I, King of the Visigoths, 410; Francesco Parmigianino (Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola), artist, 1540; Gaspard II de Coligny, French admiral and Huguenot leader, killed 1572; Jean-Francois Paul de Gondi, Cardinal de Retz, politician, 1679; Colonel Thomas Blood, adventurer, 1680; Thomas Chatterton, poet, committed suicide 1770; Nicolas-Leonard Sadi Carnot, physicist, 1832; Theodore Edward Hook, playwright and writer, 1841; Margaret Fairless Barber (Michael Fairless), essayist, 1901; Alfred Stevens, painter, 1906; John William Dunne, philosopher, 1949; Getulio Dornelles Vargas, Brazilian president, committed suicide 1954; Ronald Arbuthnot Knox, theologian and essayist, 1957.

On this day: the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were buried under volcanic ash after the eruption of Vesuvius, 79; Rome was captured by the Visigoths, 410; England achieved her first naval victory in the Battle of the Key, when Hubert de Burgh defeated the French fleet under Eustace the Monk, 1217; the Massacre of St Bartholomew occurred in France when thousands of Huguenots were killed in Paris, 1572; Calcutta was founded by Job Charnock at Sutanati, 1686; the English-Dutch Fleets defeated the French at the Battle of Malaga, 1704; Washington DC was captured by British troops, who burned down the White House, 1814; US troops were routed by the British at Bladensburg, Maryland, 1814; Matthew Webb was the first man to swim the English Channel, 1875; the Allies retreated from Mons, 1914; the outskirts of London were raided by Zeppelins, killing eight people, 1916; Mustafa Kemal, leading the Turkish army, threw back the Greeks at the Battle of the Sakkaria River, 1921; the Manchester Guardian was renamed the Guardian, 1959.

Today is the Feast Day of St Audenoeus or Ouen, St Bartholomew and The Martyrs of Utica.