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Allen, Mary Sophia (1878–1964), police officer, was born on 12 March 1878 at 2 Marlborough Terrace, Newport Road, Roath, Glamorgan, the daughter of Thomas Isaac Allen, a superintendent of the Great Western Railway, and his wife, Margaret Sophia Carlyle. Her sister, Mrs Hampton...

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Bebb [married name Thomson], Gwyneth Marjory (1889–1921), campaigner for women's admission to the legal profession, was born at Brasenose House, High Street, Oxford, on 27 October 1889, the second daughter and third of the seven children of Llewellyn John Montfort Bebb DD (1862–1915)...

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Becke [née Jennings], Shirley Cameron (1917–2011), police officer, was born on 29 April 1917 at 53 Cambridge Road, Chiswick, London, the daughter of George Louis Jennings (1878–1950), gas engineer, and his wife, Marion Lillian, née Cameron (1884–1968). She was educated at home and then at ...

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Blandy, Mary (1718/19–1752), murderer, was born in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, the only child of Francis Blandy (c.1689–1751) and Mary Stevens (c.1700–1749), parents so 'excessively fond' of her that they could 'scarce bear her out of their sight...

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Cadbury, Dame Geraldine Southall (1865–1941), social and penal reformer, was born Geraldine Southall at 5 Highfield Road, Edgbaston, on 29 June 1865, the daughter of Alfred Southall (1838–1931), chemist, and his wife, Anna Strangman, née Grubb (1841–1912). She inherited a propensity for social activism from her Quaker parents; her father was a temperance worker who taught a working men's adult school class, while her Irish mother was a supporter of women's suffrage. She was educated at ...

Article

Cakebread, Jane (1827/1828–1898), inebriate and subject of medical enquiry, was born in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, the daughter of James Cakebread (1783/4–1852), a carpenter and carter originally from Clavering, Essex, and his wife, Susan (1793/4–1863) of Sawbridgeworth. The eldest surviving daughter in a large family, ...

Article

Campbell, Sybil (1889–1977), barrister and first woman stipendiary magistrate, was born on 9 October 1889 in Ceylon, the eldest of the three daughters and a son of Neill Graeme Campbell (1859–1940) of Auchendarroch, tea company agent, and his wife, Maude Georgiana (d...

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Canning [married name Treat], Elizabeth (1734–1773), convicted perjurer, was born on 17 September 1734 in the City of London, the eldest of five surviving children of William Canning (d. 1751) and his wife, Elizabeth, who continued her husband's business of sawyer after his death. The family occupied two rooms in ...

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Carleton [née Moders], Mary [nicknamed the German Princess] (1634x42–1673), impostor, is recorded in contradictory texts, making the accuracy of information about her origins difficult to ascertain. She was probably born Mary Moders in 1642 and baptized on 22 January; however, she is also recorded as being born eight years earlier, while ...

Article

M. G. Watkins

revised by H. C. G. Matthew

Catchpole, Margaret (1762–1819), convict and author, was born on 14 March 1762, perhaps at Nacton, Suffolk, the illegitimate daughter of Elizabeth Catchpole and a farm labourer employed by a celebrated breeder of Suffolk carthorses. When Margaret was thirteen years of age the farmer's wife was suddenly seized with illness; ...

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Chudleigh, Elizabeth [married namesElizabeth Hervey, countess of Bristol; Elizabeth Pierrepont, duchess of Kingston upon Hull] (c. 1720–1788), courtier and bigamist, was born probably at the family estate of Ashton, Devon. She was the younger daughter and youngest child of Colonel Thomas Chudleigh (...

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Ellis [née Neilson], Ruth (1926–1955), nightclub hostess and convicted murderer, was born on 9 October 1926 at 74 West Parade, Rhyl, north Wales, the fourth of six children of Arthur Neilson (formerly Hornby), musician, and his wife, Elisaberta Goodall, a seamstress.

Born into poverty, ...

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Erskine [née Chiesley, Cheislie], Rachel, Lady Grange (bap. 1679, d. 1745), victim of abduction, was the daughter of John Cheislie (d. 1689) of Dalry and Margaret Nicholson; she was baptized on 4 February 1679 at Edinburgh. On 31 March 1689 her father shot dead ...

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Fletcher, Yvonne Joyce (1958–1984), police officer, was born on 15 June 1958 at 4 Kingsettle Estate, Semley, Wiltshire, the eldest of four daughters of Michael Henry James Fletcher, timber feller, and his wife, Queenie May, née Troke. Brought up in Semley, where she sang in the church choir, she was educated nearby at ...

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Frith [married name Markham], Mary [known as Moll Cutpurse] (1584x9–1659), thief, is of uncertain origins. She was perhaps the daughter of William Frith who was baptized at St Martin Ludgate, London, on 19 April 1584. This is consistent neither with her reported age ('in her seventy-fourth year') at her death in July 1659 nor with the contradictory statement of her birth in 1589, both of which come from ...

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Fry [née Gurney], Elizabeth (1780–1845), penal reformer and philanthropist, was born on 21 May 1780 at Magdalen Street, Norwich, the fourth of twelve children, seven daughters and five sons, of John Gurney (1749–1809), a merchant and banker, and Catherine Bell (1754–1792). Her parents were both descendants of old Quaker families, ...

Article

Thomas L. Hodgkin

revised by Mark Pottle

Fry, (Sara) Margery (1874–1958), penal reformer and college head, was born at Highgate, London, on 11 March 1874, the eighth child and sixth daughter of Sir Edward Fry (1827–1918), judge of the High Court, Chancery Division, and his wife, Mariabella Hodgkin (1833–1930). Joan Mary Fry...

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Heilbron, Dame Rose (1914–2005), barrister and judge, was born on 19 August 1914 at 27 St James Road, Abercromby, Liverpool, the younger daughter of Max Heilbron and his wife, Nellie, née Summers. She was originally named Rosie, but this was later changed to ...

Article

Kidd [married name MacDonald], Dame Margaret Henderson (1900–1989), lawyer, was born on 14 March 1900 at Grange Park, Carriden, Bo'ness, Linlithgowshire, the elder daughter of James Kidd (1872–1928) and his wife, Janet Gardner Turnbull (1872–1930), a teacher. Her parents were both Scottish. Her father was a much respected solicitor and (Unionist) MP for the local seat of ...

Article

Longworth, Maria Theresa (1833–1881), plaintiff in a case of disputed marriage and author, was born at Cheetwood, near Manchester, the youngest of six children of Thomas Longworth, silk manufacturer, and his wife, Ann, née Fox. Thomas Longworth's business, and at one time his residence also, was in a large house at the corner of ...