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Horace Gundry Alexander (1889–1989) by Morland Braithwaite private collection

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Alexander, Horace Gundry (1889–1989), Quaker envoy and mediator, was born on 18 April 1889 at Croydon, Surrey, the youngest of four sons of Joseph Gundry Alexander (1848–1918), a Quaker barrister and advocate of international arbitration, and of Josephine Crosfield Alexander. He was educated at ...

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Barlow, Sir Thomas, first baronet (1845–1945), physician, was born at Brantwood Fold, Edgworth, near Bolton, Lancashire, on 4 September 1845; he was the eldest of seven children of James Barlow (1821–1887) of Greenthorne, Edgworth, who established the cotton mills of Barlow and Jones...

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Sir Thomas Barlow, first baronet (1845–1945) by Catharine Dodgson, 1936 from the collection of the Athenaeum, London

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Beadon, Frederick (1777–1879), Church of England clergyman and centenarian, third son of the Revd Edward Beadon, rector of North Stoneham, Hampshire, was born in London on 6 December 1777. He was educated at Charterhouse School and at Trinity College, Oxford. He took orders in 1801, and was shortly afterwards presented by his uncle, ...

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Bertorelli, Joe [Giuseppe Domenico] (1893–1994), restaurateur, was born on 10 June 1893 at Bergazzi di Bardi, Piacenza, Liguria, Italy, the youngest of the four sons of Lazzaro and Marianna Bertorelli. By the time of his birth his father and three elder brothers were already living and working in ...

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Boruwlaski, Joseph [formerly Józef Boruslawski], styled Count Boruwlaski (1739–1837), travelling performer and memoirist, was born in November 1739 near Halicz, Galicia, Poland, the third son of a lower gentry family. The principal source for his life is his own memoirs, published in several editions between 1788 and 1820. When he was nine his father died, leaving a widow with five sons and one daughter. Three sons were very tall, but three children suffered from achondroplasia, an inherited condition in which the cartilage in the bones fails to grow. ...

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Brittain, Sir Henry Ernest [Harry] (1873–1974), journalist and politician, was born on 24 December 1873 at Storth Oaks, Ranmoor, near Sheffield, Yorkshire, the oldest surviving child in the family of two sons and three daughters (one daughter died in infancy) of William Henry Brittain (1835–1922)...

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(Archibald) Fenner Brockway, Baron Brockway (1888–1988) by Bassano, 1930 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Brockway, (Archibald) Fenner, Baron Brockway (1888–1988), politician and campaigner, was born on 1 November 1888 in Calcutta, the only son and eldest of three children of the Revd William George Brockway, London Missionary Society missionary, and his wife, Frances Elizabeth, daughter of William Abbey...

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Buchinger, Matthias [Matthew] (1674–1739), artist, was born on 2 June 1674 at Ansbach, near Nuremberg; details of his parents are unknown. He was born without hands, feet, lower legs, or thighs and in his life never grew taller than 29 inches. Although such symptoms might today be diagnosed as phocomelia, his impairments were attributed at the time to a fright suffered by his mother during pregnancy. He was the youngest of nine children and, according to a biography published in the ...

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Matthias Buchinger (1674–1739) by unknown artist, late 18th cent. (after self-portrait) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Buckler, John (1770–1851), artist and architect, was born on 30 November 1770 at Calbourne, Isle of Wight, and baptized there at All Saints' Church on 27 December, the eldest son of Edward Buckler (1741–1792) and his wife, Hannah (1745–1809), daughter of William Jacob...

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Bulger, James Patrick (1990–1993), murder victim, was born in Liverpool on 16 March 1990, the first child of Ralph S. Bulger (b. 1964) and his wife, Denise Matthews (b. 1965). A younger brother was born after his death, and his parents separated in 1994. The family lived in ...

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Christison, Sir (Alexander Frank) Philip, fourth baronet (1893–1993), army officer, was born at 40 Moray Place, Edinburgh, on 17 November 1893, the elder of the two sons and eldest of five children of Sir Alexander Christison, second baronet (1828–1918), surgeon-general in the Bengal...

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Sir (Alexander Frank) Philip Christison, fourth baronet (1893–1993) by Vandyk, 1948 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Patrick Cotter (1760/6161–1806) by John Kay, 1803 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Cotter, Patrick [performing name Patrick O'Brien] (1760/61–1806), giant, was born at Kinsale, co. Cork. He grew to be more than 8 feet tall (accounts vary from 8 feet 3½ inches to 8 feet 7 inches), and from his late teens was exhibited in ...

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Darwin, William Erasmus (1839–1914), subject of a study in child psychology, was born on 27 December 1839 at 12 Upper Gower Street, London, and baptized at St Peter's Church, Maer, Staffordshire, on 23 June 1840. He was the first of the ten children of ...

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Dearmer, Geoffrey (1893–1996), writer and radio broadcaster, was born on 21 March 1893 at 59 South Lambeth Road, London, the elder son of Percy Dearmer (1867–1936), Church of England clergyman and liturgist, and his wife, (Jessie) Mabel Pritchard White (1872–1915), children's writer and illustrator, daughter of ...