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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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Canning [married name Treat], Elizabeth (1734–1773), convicted perjurer, was born on 17 September 1734 in the City of London, the eldest of five surviving children of William Canning (d. 1751) and his wife, Elizabeth, who continued her husband's business of sawyer after his death. The family occupied two rooms in ...

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Carleton [née Moders], Mary [nicknamed the German Princess] (1634x42–1673), impostor, is recorded in contradictory texts, making the accuracy of information about her origins difficult to ascertain. She was probably born Mary Moders in 1642 and baptized on 22 January; however, she is also recorded as being born eight years earlier, while ...

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Chudleigh, Elizabeth [married namesElizabeth Hervey, countess of Bristol; Elizabeth Pierrepont, duchess of Kingston upon Hull] (c. 1720–1788), courtier and bigamist, was born probably at the family estate of Ashton, Devon. She was the younger daughter and youngest child of Colonel Thomas Chudleigh (...

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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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Feilding, Robert (1650/51–1712), rake and bigamist, was born at Solihull, Warwickshire, the son of George Feilding, landowner, a kinsman of the earl of Denbigh. Nothing is known about his mother. He was admitted to the Middle Temple in 1673, but upon inheriting £600...

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Hudson, George [called the Railway King] (1800–1871), railway promoter and fraudster, was born in March 1800 at Howsham, about 12 miles north-east of York, the fifth son of a farmer who died in 1806. He went to local schools and in 1815 was apprenticed to ...

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Keating, Thomas Patrick (1917–1984), artist and faker, was born on 1 March 1917 in Forest Hill, London, the fourth child in the family of four sons and three daughters of Herbert Josiah Patrick O'Brian Keating, a house painter, and his wife, Louisa DeLieu...

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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...

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Lyons, (Isidore) Jack (1916–2008), businessman, philanthropist, and convicted fraudster, was born in Leeds on 1 February 1916, the fifth of six children of Samuel Henry Lyons (1883/4–1959), businessman, and his wife, Sophie, née Niman (1885–1971). His immediate elder brother, Bernard Lyons (1913–2008...

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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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Sadleir, John (1813–1856), politician and swindler, was born on 17 November 1813 at Shronell House in the parish of Shronell, co. Tipperary. He was the fifth of seven children of Clement William Sadleir, farmer and middleman, reputedly descended from Henry Sadeleyer of Hackney...

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Savundra, Emil [formerly Marion Emil Anacletus Pierre Savundranayagam] (1923–1976), swindler, was born on 6 July 1923 in Ceylon. His father was stated to have been a Ceylonese judge. He attended school in Ceylon, and although he never attended university, he gained a doctorate of civil law from the ...

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Serres [née Wilmot], Olivia [alias Princess Olive of Cumberland] (1772–1835), royal impostor, was born in Warwick on 3 April 1772, daughter of Robert Wilmot, house painter, and his wife, Anna Maria Brunton. She was baptized on 15 April 1772 at St Nicholas's Church, Warwick...

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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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Smith, George Joseph (1872–1915), bigamist and murderer, was born on 11 January 1872 at 92 Roman Road, Bethnal Green, London, the son of George Thomas Smith, insurance agent, and his wife, Louisa Gibson. Little is known about his early life. Caroline Thornhill, his first known spouse, maintained that he was sent to a reformatory in ...

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Smith, (Lillias Irma) Valerie Arkell- [née Lillias Irma Valerie Barker] (1895–1960), sexual impostor and perjurer, was born on 27 August 1895 in St Clements, Jersey, the daughter of Thomas William Barker (1857–1918), gentleman farmer and architect, and his wife, Lillias Adelaide Hill (1868–1923)...

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Smith, Thomas Daniel [T. Dan] (1915–1993), local government leader and criminal, was born on 11 May 1915 at 62 Holly Avenue, Wallsend, Northumberland, the son of Robert Smith, miner, and his wife, Ada, née Clifford, charlady. His father suffered unemployment in the inter-war years; both parents held left-wing views, which he inherited. Educated at ...

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Stonehouse, John Thomson (1925–1988), politician and confidence trickster, was born on 28 July 1925 in Southampton, the youngest of four children and second son of William Mitchell Stonehouse, Post Office engineer and later dockyard engine-fitter, and his wife, Rosina Marie, formerly a scullery maid in ...