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Johnstone, Andrew James Cochrane- (1767–1833?), politician and fraudster, was born on 24 May 1767 at Belleville, a house in Edinburgh, the eighth surviving son of Thomas Cochrane, eighth earl of Dundonald (1691–1778), and his wife, Jean, née Stewart, of Torrance, Lanarkshire (1722?–1808).

The eighth earl's debts stood at ...

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Thomas Kennedy, ninth earl of Cassillis (1726–1775) by William Mosman, 1746 Culzean Castle collection; courtesy of The National Trust for Scotland

Article

Kennedy, Thomas, ninth earl of Cassillis (1726–1775), smuggler and landowner, was born on 12 February 1726, the seventeenth child and second surviving son of Sir John Kennedy of Culzean, second baronet (d. 1742), and Jean Douglas (d. 1767), daughter of Andrew Douglas...

Article

Redpath, Leopold (b. 1816?, d. in or after 1868), swindler, was probably born in 1816 (1813 by another account), and was the son of James Redpath, a poor man. When young he worked as a clerk. On 23 February 1840 (pretentiously describing himself as a merchant and his father as a gentleman) he married a lady's companion, ...

Article

Robson, William James (b. 1822?, d. in or after 1862), swindler, was probably born in 1822 (though some accounts indicate November 1820 or 1821) at Chingford, Essex, the son of a hay salesman from whose home he ran away. As a young man he worked as a law writer and later as a clerk of the ...

Article

Sharington, Sir William (c. 1495–1553), administrator and embezzler, was the first son of Thomas Sharington (d. 1527?) of Norfolk and his wife, Katherine, daughter and heir of William Pyrton of Little Bentley, Essex. Despite the obscurity of his early years, it seems clear that two men were instrumental in his rise to importance: ...

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Sir William Sharington (c. 1495–1553) by Hans Holbein the younger The Royal Collection © 2004 HM Queen Elizabeth II

Article

Speckman [alias Brown], Charles (1734?–1763), confidence trickster, was probably born in London in 1734, although one account reports a slightly earlier birth about 1728 in either Antigua or Barbados (The Ordinary of Newgate). In keeping with his chosen profession he adopted various aliases, and it is therefore difficult to be entirely confident that his name really was ...