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À Beckett, Gilbert Abbott (1811–1856), comic writer and police magistrate, was born at The Grange, Hampstead, Middlesex, on 17 February 1811, the third son of William A'Beckett (1777–1855), a reform solicitor, and his wife, Sarah Abbott. His forebears were an ancient Wiltshire family, who traced their ancestry back to the fourteenth century and claimed descent from ...

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Boswell, James (1740–1795), lawyer, diarist, and biographer of Samuel Johnson, was born in Edinburgh on 29 October 1740, probably at the family's house on the fourth storey of Blair's Land, Parliament Close, the eldest son of Alexander Boswell, Lord Auchinleck (1707–1782), and his first wife, ...

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Bottomley, Horatio William (1860–1933), journalist and swindler, was the only son of William King Bottomley (1827–1863), a tailor's cutter, and his wife, Elizabeth, née Holyoake. He was born on 23 March 1860 at 16 St Peter's Street, Bethnal Green, London. Orphaned by the age of four, ...

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Bramwell, George William Wilshere, Baron Bramwell (1808–1892), judge and political pamphleteer, was born at 22 Finch Lane, Cornhill, London, on 12 June 1808, the son of George Bramwell, banker, and his wife, Elizabeth Martha, née Frith. Frederick Joseph Bramwell was his younger brother. He was educated at the Revd Martin Ready's school at Peckham, and then at the ...

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Brome, Alexander (1620–1666), poet and lawyer, was born in the parish of Evershot, Dorset, the eldest son of the seven children of John Brome and his wife, about whom little is known. Henry Brome (d. 1681), the London bookseller, was a younger brother. ...

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Cockburn, Henry, Lord Cockburn (1779–1854), author and judge, was born in or near Edinburgh, on 26 October 1779, the son of Archibald Cockburn (d. 1820), and his wife, Janet Rannie. His father was one of the learned lairds who made up the country's ...

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Dodd, William [nicknamed the Macaroni Parson] (1729–1777), Church of England clergyman and forger, was born in Bourne, Lincolnshire, the eldest of the six children of the Revd William Dodd (1703?–1757), vicar of Bourne. He was probably born on 29 May 1729 (...

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Fielding, Henry (1707–1754), author and magistrate, was born on 22 April 1707 at Sharpham Park, near Glastonbury, Somerset, the eldest of the seven children of Colonel Edmund Fielding (1680–1741), a veteran of Marlborough's wars who would rise to the rank of lieutenant-general, and ...

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Jeffrey, Francis, Lord Jeffrey (1773–1850), writer and judge, was born on 23 October 1773 at 7 Charles Street, off George Square, Edinburgh, the elder son and third of five children of George Jeffrey (1742–1812), depute clerk in the Court of Session, and Henrietta...

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Lomax, Eric Sutherland (1919–2012), prisoner of war and author, was born on 30 May 1919 at 11 Bedford Terrace, Portobello, Edinburgh, the only child of John Lomax (1878–1950), post office clerk, later post office manager, formerly a Stockport pawnbroker's assistant, and his wife, ...

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A. W. Ward

revised by Sayoni Basu

Martin, Sir Theodore (1816–1909), lawyer and biographer, born at Edinburgh on 16 September 1816, was the only son in a family of ten children of a well-to-do Edinburgh solicitor, James Martin, who was for some years private secretary to Andrew, Lord Rutherfurd. His grandfather, also ...

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Maxwell, (Ian) Robert (1923–1991), publisher and swindler, was born on 10 June 1923 in Synagogue Street, Slatinske Doly (Szlatina), a village in Czechoslovakia on a disputed frontier with Romania. He was one of seven children of Mehel Hoch (1887–1942?), agricultural labourer, and Chanca (...

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Mortimer, Sir John Clifford (1923–2009), barrister and author, was born on 21 April 1923 at 7 The Pryors, Hampstead, London, the only child of (Herbert) Clifford Mortimer (1884–1961), a distinguished divorce and probate barrister and author of Mortimer on Probate, and his wife, ...

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North, Roger (1651–1734), lawyer, politician, and writer, the sixth and youngest son, and the youngest of the ten surviving children, of Dudley North, fourth Baron North (1602–1677), and Anne (c.1613–1681), daughter of Sir Charles Montague, was born at Tostock, Suffolk, on 3 September 1651. Until recently there has been some uncertainty about ...

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Procter, Bryan Waller (1787–1874), poet and lawyer, the eldest child of Nicholas Procter (d. 1816) and his wife, Amelia (d. 1837), was born on 21 November 1787 and named after a great-uncle from whom an inheritance was expected. His ancestors were small farmers in ...

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Prynne, William (1600–1669), pamphleteer and lawyer, was born in Upper Swainswick, near Bath, Somerset, the son of Thomas Prynne, farmer, and his second wife, Marie, daughter of William Sherston (the first mayor of Bath under Elizabeth I's charter). He attended Bath grammar school...

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Reynolds, John Hamilton (1794–1852), writer and lawyer, was born on 9 September 1794 in Shrewsbury, the second of five children of George C. Reynolds (1765–1853), a schoolteacher in Shrewsbury and later at Lambeth School and Christ's Hospital, London, and his wife, Charlotte, née...

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Richard Davenport-Hines

Sereny, Gitta (1921–2012), author, was born Gitta Serényi on 13 March 1921 in Vienna, the only daughter and younger child of Gyula (or Ferdinand) Serényi (d. 1923), a Hungarian landowner, and his wife, Margit, née Herzfeld (1890–1993), an actress. In 1926 her mother became engaged to ...

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Sewall, Samuel (1652–1730), judge and diarist in America, was born on 28 March 1652 at Bishop Stoke, Hampshire, the second child of Henry Sewall (c.1615–1700) and Jane (1627–1701), daughter of Stephen and Alice (née Archer) Dummer. The Sewall and Dummer...

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Shaw, Thomas, first Baron Craigmyle (1850–1937), lawyer and politician, the younger of two sons of Alexander Shaw of Dunfermline and his wife, Isabella, née Wishart, was born there on 23 May 1850. His father, who was from Torryburn near Dunfermline, and was in business as a baker, died when ...