Births: St Edmund Campion, Jesuit martyr, 1540; Hendrik van Avercamp, painter, 1585; Govaert Flinck, painter, 1615; Robert Boyle, physicist and chemist, 1627; Thomas Tanner, antiquary, biographer and bishop, 1674; Pompeo Girolamo Batoni, painter, 1708; Comte Joseph-Louis Lagrange, mathematician and physicist, 1736; Stephanie-Felicite du Crest de Saint-Aubin, Comtesse de Genlis, author, 1746; Robert Burns, poet, 1759; Daniel Maclise, painter, 1806; Theodor Steingraber, music publisher and author, 1830; Pablo Hernandez, organist and composer, 1834; John Arbuthnot, first Baron Fisher, admiral, 1841; Hugh Cecil Lowther, fifth Earl of Lonsdale, 1857; William Somerset Maugham, author, 1874; Adeline Virginia Woolf, author, 1882; Wilhelm Furtwangler, conductor, 1886; Dame Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies, actress, 1891; Paul-Henri Spaak, statesman, 1899.

Deaths: Marcus Cocceius Nerva, Roman emperor, 98; Lucas Cranach the Younger, painter, 1586; The Rev Robert Burton, author of The Anatomy of Melancholy, 1640; George Augustus Selwyn, MP and wit, 1791; Dorothy Wordsworth, writer and sister of the poet, 1855; Frederic, first Baron Leighton, painter and sculptor, 1896; Al (Alphonse) Capone, gangster, 1947; Rutland Boughton, composer, 1960; Robertson Hare, actor, 1979.

On this day: Edward III acceded to the English throne, 1327; Henry VIII married Anne Boleyn, 1533; Rossini's opera La Cenerentola was first performed, Rome 1817; William Henry Fox Talbot published a description of his invention, the photographic negative, 1839; the London Chamber of Commerce met for the first time, 1882; Nelly Bly, journalist, ended a round-the-world trip in just over 73 days, 1890; John Dillinger, bank-robber and 'Public Enemy No. 1', was captured at Tucson, Arizona 1934; the Pentagon building in Washington was completed, 1943; Maj-Gen Idi Amin deposed Milton Obote, president of Uganda, 1971; Charles Manson and others were found guilty of multiple murder, 1971; the Labour MPs David Owen, William Rodgers and former MPs Mrs Shirley Williams and Roy Jenkins stated that they were to set up a Council for Social Democracy, 1981.

Today is Burns Night and the Feast Day of the Conversion of St Paul, St Apollo, St Artemas, St Dwynwen, Saints Juventinus and Maximimus, St Poppo, St Praejectus or Prix and St Publius.

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