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Births: Robert Herrick, poet, baptised 1591; George Stubbs, animal and portrait painter, 1724; William Wilberforce, philanthropist, 1759; Sir Max (Henry Maximilian) Beerbohm, author and caricaturist, 1872; Jean Rhys, novelist, 1894; Jorge Luis Borges, writer, 1899; Graham Vivian Sutherland, artist, 1903.

Deaths: Pliny the Elder, Roman naturalist and writer, 79; Francesco Parmigianino (Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola), artist, 1540; Col Thomas Blood, adventurer, 1680; Thomas Chatterton, poet, committed suicide 1770; Nicolas-Leonard Sadi Carnot, physicist, 1832; Getulio Dornelles Vargas, president of Brazil, committed suicide 1954.

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; Washington DC was captured by British troops, who burned down the White House, 1814; Matthew Webb was the first man to swim the English Channel, 1875; the ZR-2 dirigible balloon collapsed and exploded near Hull, killing 62, 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.