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Adams, Fanny (1859–1867), murder victim and source of a colloquial expression, was born on 30 April 1859 in Tanhouse Lane, Alton, Hampshire, the fourth of seven children of George Adams (b. 1830), a labourer, later a bricklayer, and his wife, Harriet Mills (...

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Adrian [née Pinsent], Hester Agnes, Lady Adrian (1899–1966), penal reformer, was born at Lordswood House, Harborne, Birmingham, on 16 September 1899, the only daughter and youngest child of Hume Chancellor Pinsent (d. 1920), a solicitor, and his wife, Ellen Frances Parker (1866–1949)...

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Mary Sophia Allen (1878–1964) by Mrs Albert Broom, 1916 [centre, with members of the women police] © National Portrait Gallery, London

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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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Archdale, Helen Elizabeth [Betty] (1907–2000), feminist, cricketer, and educationist, was born at 59 Oxford Terrace, Bayswater, London, on 21 August 1907, the only daughter of the Scottish feminist and journalist Helen Alexander Archdale, née Russel (1876–1949), and her husband, ...

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Armstrong, Eliza (b. 1872), domestic servant and victim of abduction, was born at 9 Charles Street, Lisson Grove, in the Marylebone district of London on 18 April 1872 to Charles Armstrong, a chimney sweep, and Elizabeth, née Chivers, who were married in March 1874. The family later moved to ...

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Badger, Charlotte (b. 1778?, d. in or after 1816), escaped convict, was one of the first European women to live in New Zealand. She may have been the child of Ann and Thomas Badger baptized on 31 July 1778 at the parish church of ...

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Barker, Dame Lilian Charlotte (1874–1955), prison administrator, was born on 21 February 1874 in Islington, the fifth of seven children and youngest daughter of James Barker, tobacconist, and his wife, Caroline Williams. Educated at the local elementary school, she was trained at Whitelands College, Chelsea...

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Baron, Dame Florence Jacqueline (1952–2013), barrister and judge, was born on 7 October 1952 in the Kingsbury Maternity Hospital, Honeypot Lane, Kingsbury, London, the daughter of Owsiej (Jose) Baron, electrical engineer, and his wife, Ellen Elizabeth Jane, née McLennan. At the time of her birth registration her parents lived at ...

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Bateman [née Harker], Mary (1768–1809), thief and poisoner, was born in Asenby, Yorkshire, the daughter of a small farmer named Harker. She evidently received a good education for one of her class, and could read and write proficiently. At the age of thirteen her father sent her into service in ...

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Bather, Elizabeth Constance (1904–1988), police officer, was born on 11 October 1904 in Winchester, Hampshire, the daughter of the Revd Arthur George Bather, a housemaster at Winchester College, Hampshire, and his wife, Lilian Dundas Firth. She was educated at St Swithun's School, Winchester...

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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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Gwyneth Marjory Bebb (1889–1921) by unknown photographer, 1920 by kind permission of Anne Tickell and Martin Tomlins

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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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Shirley Cameron Becke (1917–2011) by Jeremy Mcgovren, c.1970s The Times / NI Syndication

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Beddingfield [née Rowe, Row], Margery (bap. 1742, d. 1763), murderer, was the daughter of John Rowe or Row (c.1702–1778), a substantial Suffolk farmer, and his wife, Margery (c.1710–1756). The couple had two sons while living at Kelsale and moved to ...

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See Essex witches

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See Salem witches and their accusers

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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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Bonny, Anne (1698–1782), pirate, was born near Cork in Ireland. Evidence from her descendants suggests that she was the illegitimate daughter of William Cormac, lawyer, and his maidservant. Cormac, who raised his daughter as a boy, found his legal practice so affected by his affair that he decided to go abroad. Taking ...