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Allen, Mary Sophia (1878–1964), police officer, was born on 12 March 1878 at 2 Marlborough Terrace, Newport Road, Roath, Glamorgan, the daughter of Thomas Isaac Allen, a superintendent of the Great Western Railway, and his wife, Margaret Sophia Carlyle. Her sister, Mrs Hampton...

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Anderson, Sir Edmund (1530?–1605), judge, was born at Flixborough, Lincolnshire, the third son of Edward Anderson, landowner, and his wife, Joan Clayton. He was descended from Northumberland gentry but the family migrated to Lincolnshire before he was born. Anderson is said to have spent a brief period at ...

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Barclay, William [Guillaume] (1546–1608), civil lawyer, was born in Scotland. According to Sir Robert Sibbald he was descended from the Barclays of Collairnie in Fife; but according to a note attached to James Gordon's History of Scots Affairs (1841) he was a grandson of ...

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Benenson, Peter James Henry (1921–2005), barrister and human rights campaigner, was born on 31 July 1921 at 6 Albert Court, Knightsbridge, London, the only child of Lieutenant-Colonel Harold Josiah Solomon (1885–1930), army officer, and his wife, Flora (1895–1984), daughter of the Jewish Russian banker ...

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Bowyer, Sir George, seventh baronet (1811–1883), jurist and politician, was born on 8 October 1811 at Radley Park, near Abingdon, Berkshire, the eldest son of Sir George Bowyer, sixth baronet (1783–1860), of Denham Court, Buckinghamshire, and his wife, Anne Hammond, daughter of Captain Sir Andrew Snape Douglas RN...

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Burke, William (1792–1829), murderer, and his accomplice, William Hare [see below], were Irish immigrants whose activities in Edinburgh made theirs perhaps the best-known pair of names in Scottish history. William Burke was probably born in the parish of Urney, near Strabane, co. Tyrone...

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Butler, Charles (1750–1832), Roman Catholic layman and lawyer, was born in London on 14 August 1750, the son of James Butler, a successful linen draper who had a shop on Pall Mall. His mother, whose maiden name was Blandecque and whose family came from ...

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Cafferata, Raymond Oswald (1897–1966), colonial police officer, was born on 13 March 1897 at 17 Onslow Road, West Derby, Liverpool, the son of Wilfrid Charles Cafferata (1867–1943), a solicitor, and his wife, Mary Grace, née Parkinson (1869–1945). He entered Wimbledon College on 3 October 1911, and was educated there until Easter 1913, excelling at cricket and football. Aged seventeen he enlisted as a private in the pals battalion of the ...

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Caminada, Jerome (1844–1914), police officer, was born at 33 Peter Street, Manchester, on 15 March 1844, the third son in the family of three sons and two daughters of Francis Caminada (d. 1847), a cabinet maker originally from Lombardy, and his wife, ...

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G. C. Boase

revised by R. V. Comerford

Carey, James (1837–1883), Fenian and informer, was the son of Francis Carey, a bricklayer, who migrated from Celbridge, co. Kildare, to Dublin. There his wife (whose name is not known) kept a lodging-house in James Street, where James was born to them. He had at least one brother. ...

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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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Carman, George Alfred (1929–2001), barrister, was born at 20 Breck Road, Blackpool, on 6 October 1929, the son of Alfred George Carman (d. 1988), an auctioneer of furniture, and his wife, Evelyn née Moylan (d. 1954), a seamstress. At eight, he was sent to board at ...

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Cartier, Sir George-Étienne, baronet (1814–1873), lawyer and politician in Canada, was born on 6 September 1814 at Seven Chimneys, St Antoine-sur-Richelieu, Lower Canada, the seventh of the eight children of Jacques Cartier (1774–1841), a merchant, and his wife, Marguerite (1779–1848), the daughter of ...

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Crippen, Hawley Harvey (1862–1910), murderer, was born in Coldwater, Michigan, the only child of storekeeper Myron Augustus Crippen (1827–1910) and his wife, Andresse Skinner (d. 1909). After studying in Michigan, London, and the Homoeopathic Hospital College, Cleveland, Ohio, he qualified as a homoeopathic doctor in 1884. In 1887 he married a nurse, ...

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Devlin, Patrick Arthur, Baron Devlin (1905–1992), judge and legal philosopher, was born at Chislehurst, Kent, on 25 November 1905, the eldest of three sons and second of five children of William John Devlin (d. 1932), architect, and his wife, Frances Evelyn (Fanny), ...

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Duane, Matthew (1707–1785), lawyer and art patron, was of obscure family origins. It seems likely that he came from Ireland and that his education took place in a Catholic school on the continent. Prevented by his religion from being called to the bar, he was by his mid-thirties practising with great success as a ‘chamber counsel’ and conveyancer in ...

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Ellis [née Neilson], Ruth (1926–1955), nightclub hostess and convicted murderer, was born on 9 October 1926 at 74 West Parade, Rhyl, north Wales, the fourth of six children of Arthur Neilson (formerly Hornby), musician, and his wife, Elisaberta Goodall, a seamstress.

Born into poverty, ...

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Esterhazy, Charles-Marie-Ferdinand [Ferdinand] Walsin- (1847–1923), traitor and exile, was born at 23 rue de Cluny, Paris, on 19 December 1847, the son of Louis-Joseph-Ferdinand Esterhazy (1807–1857), colonel (later general) in the French army, and Marie-Thérèse-Zélie Dequeux de Beauval (1822–1865). His grandfather Jean-Marie-Auguste-Walsin (...

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Fawkes, Guy (bap. 1570, d. 1606), conspirator, only son and second child of Edward Fawkes (d. 1579) of York and his wife, Edith Jackson, was born in the Stonegate district of York and baptized at the church of St Michael-le-Belfrey on 16 April 1570. ...

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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...