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Births: Taddeo Zuccaro (Zucchero), painter, 1529; Edward Alleyn, actor and founder of Dulwich College, 1566; Giacomo Torelli, theatrical designer, 1608; Marguerite Gardiner, Countess Blessington, author and journalist, 1789; Zerah Colburn, infant prodigy in mathematics, 1804; Engelbert Humperdinck, composer, 1854; Baron Carl Auer von Welsbach, chemist, inventor of the gas mantle, 1858; Sir Roger David Casement, conspirator for Irish nationalism, 1864; 'Gentleman Jim' James John Corbett, heavyweight boxer, 1866; Edgar Rice Burroughs, novelist and creator of 'Tarzan', 1875; Francis William Aston, physicist, 1877; Rocky Marciano (Rocco Marchegiano), heavyweight boxer, 1923.

Deaths: Hadrian IV, Pope (Nicholas Breakspear, the only Englishman to be Pope), 1159; Jacques Cartier, explorer, 1557; Marin Mersenne, mathematician, 1648; Louis XIV, the 'Sun King' of France, 1715; William Clark, explorer of the North West country, 1838; Sir Richard Westmacott, sculptor, 1856; William Yarrell, zoologist, 1856; Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, composer, 1912; Moreton Frewen, entrepreneur, 1924; Dennis Brain, horn-player, 1957; Guy Burgess, defector, 1963; Siegfried Lorraine Sassoon, writer, 1967; Francois Mauriac, poet and novelist, 1970.

On this day: the destruction of Jerusalem under Titus took place, 70; Count Christian of Oldenburg was elected King of Denmark and Norway, 1448; the Covenanters were defeated by Montrose at Tippermuir, 1644; the world's first triangular postage stamps were issued by the Cape of Good Hope, 1853; the foundation stone of the Ottawa Parliament building was laid by the Prince of Wales, 1860; Cannon Street railway terminus, London, was opened for passenger traffic, 1866; Britain signed a peace treaty with the Zulus, 1879; the Severn Tunnel was opened for goods traffic, 1886; St Petersburg was renamed Petrograd, 1914; nearly 200,000 people were killed in earthquakes in Tokyo and Yokohama, 1923; Albania was declared a kingdom, and Zogu I became king, 1928; the Alhambra Theatre, London, was demolished, 1936; Poland was invaded by Germany, and Danzig Free City was seized, 1939; Col Gadaffi seized power in Libya, after overthrowing King Idris I, 1969.

Today is the Feast Day of St Drithelm, St Fiacre, St Giles or Aegidius, St Lupus or Leu of Sens, St Priscus of Capua, St Sebbe and St Verena.