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Ayres, Alice (1859–1885), domestic servant and heroine, was born in Isleworth, Middlesex, on 12 September 1859, the fourth daughter and seventh of ten children of John Ayres (1820–1889), labourer, and his wife, Mary-Ann, née Harris (1826–1895). She attended the village school in Isleworth...

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Alice Ayres (1859–1885) by unknown artist, 1885 © Illustrated London News Ltd / Mary Evans

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Baillie, Lady Grisell (1665–1746), heroine and business woman, was born on 25 December 1665 at Redbraes Castle, Berwickshire, the eldest survivor of the eighteen children of Sir Patrick Hume (or Home) of Polwarth, later first earl of Marchmont (1641–1724), and Grisell Kerr (...

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Edith Louisa Cavell (1865–1915) by unknown photographer, 1915 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Cavell, Edith Louisa (1865–1915), nurse and war heroine, was born on 4 December 1865, the first child of the Revd Frederick Cavell (1825–1910), Church of England clergyman, and his wife, Louisa Sophia (1835–1918), née Warming, in Swardeston vicarage, Norfolk. Her father, a graduate of ...

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Grace Horsley Darling (1815–1842) by Harold Perlee Parker, 1838 RNLI

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Darling, Grace Horsley (1815–1842), heroine, born at Bamburgh, Northumberland, on 24 November 1815, was the daughter, and the seventh of nine children, of William Darling and his wife, Thomasin, née Horsley. William Darling in 1815 succeeded his father as keeper of the lighthouse on ...

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Fletcher, Christian, Lady Abercrombie (1619/20–1691), royalist heroine, was born in Kinneff, Kincardineshire. About 1642 she married James Granger or Grainger (1603/4–1663), presbyterian minister of Kinneff church since 1640. He had graduated MA from the University of St Andrews and had been a preacher in ...

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Gormlaith [Gormphly] (d. 948), queen in Ireland and tragic heroine, was the daughter of Flann Sinna mac Máele Sechnaill (847/8–916), the southern Uí Néill high-king, and a sister of Donnchad Donn mac Flainn (d. 944), also a high-king. The annals of Ulster contain the earliest witness to her. They simply name her, and her father, before remarking that she died in penitence, in 948....

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Grimwood [née Moore; other married name Miller], Ethel Brabazon [pseud. Ethel St Clair Grimwood] (1867–1928), the heroine of Manipur, was born in Mathura, West Bengal, in 1867, probably on 4 October, eldest of the daughters of Charles William Moore (1835/6–1898), a judge in the ...

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Margaret Hamilton, Lady Belhaven and Stenton (b. in or before 1625, d. in or after 1694) by Sir Anthony Van Dyck [with John Hamilton, first Lord Belhaven and Stenton] Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Hamilton, Margaret, Lady Belhaven and Stenton (b. in or before 1625, d. in or after 1694), royalist heroine and medical practitioner, was the illegitimate daughter of James Hamilton, second marquess of Hamilton (1589–1625). It has been plausibly suggested that her mother was Anne...

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(Barbara) Jane Harrison (1945–1968) by unknown photographer British Airways Heritage Centre

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Harrison, (Barbara) Jane (1945–1968), air steward, was born on 24 May 1945 at 2 Kingsdale Crescent, Bradford, Yorkshire, the younger daughter of Alan Frederic Harrison (1911–1996), then a policeman and later a driving examiner, and Lena Veronica, née Adlard (1914–1955). Jane, as she was known to her family, was educated at ...

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Jane Lane, Lady Fisher (d. 1689) by unknown artist, c. 1660 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Lane, Jane, Lady Fisher (d. 1689), royalist heroine, was the third daughter of Thomas Lane (1585–1660) and Anne Bagot (b. 1589, d. in or after 1651), who married at Blithfield, Staffordshire, on 10 February 1610. Her father, 'a person of excellent reputation', resided at ...

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Flora MacDonald (1722–1790) by Allan Ramsay, 1749 Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

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MacDonald, Flora (1722–1790), Jacobite heroine, was born at Milton on the island of South Uist, Outer Hebrides, the third and last child of Ranald MacDonald (d. 1723), tacksman or leaseholder of Milton and Balivanich on South Uist, and his second wife, Marion (...

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Maddocks [née Thomas], Ann [called y Ferch o Gefn Ydfa] (bap. 1704, d. 1727), tragic heroine, is believed by many to have been the subject of one of the great star-crossed romances of modern Wales. She was probably born at her father's house, ...

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Rogers [née Foxwell], Mary Ann (1855–1899), heroine, was born at Dyehouse Close Lane, Frome, Somerset, on 14 February 1855, the daughter of James Foxwell (d. 1899), slaughterman, and his wife, Sophia, née Dredge (d. 1894). On 20 March 1876, at the ...