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Annesley, Alexander (d. 1813), legal writer and political commentator, was a London solicitor and member of the Inner Temple. After many years' practice, by which he acquired a large fortune, he retired to Hyde Hall, Hertfordshire. Annesley—a man of many accomplishments—paid repeated visits to the continent and was an enthusiastic sportsman. In later life, though afflicted with gout, it was said that he 'drove four in hand at ...

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Atwood, William (d. 1712), lawyer and writer on politics, son of John Atwood, of Broomfield, Essex, was admitted as a pensioner at Queens' College, Cambridge, on 23 March 1669. He was admitted at the Inner Temple on 2 December 1669 and at Gray's Inn...

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Walter Bagehot (1826–1877) by Norman Hirst, pubd 1891 (after Adolphe Beau, 1864) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bagehot, Walter (1826–1877), political commentator, economist, and journalist, was born on 3 February 1826 at Langport, Somerset, the second son of Thomas Watson Bagehot (1795–1881), banker, and Edith Stuckey (1786–1870), a niece of Samuel Stuckey, founder in 1772 of Stuckey's Bank, which issued its own banknotes and enjoyed considerable prominence and respect in the west country. The first born, ...

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Boyd, Hugh Macaulay (1746–1794), writer on politics, was born Hugh Macaulay on 16 April 1746 in Ballycastle, co. Antrim, the younger son of Alexander Macaulay (d. 1766), barrister and member of the Irish parliament, and his wife, formerly Miss Boyd (d...

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Buchan, Alastair Francis (1918–1976), writer on strategic and international affairs, was born at 76 Portland Place, London, on 9 September 1918, the third son and the fourth and youngest child of John Buchan, first Baron Tweedsmuir (1875–1940), and his wife, Susan Charlotte (1882–1977)...

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Crankshaw, Edward (1909–1984), writer and commentator on Soviet affairs, was born on 3 January 1909 in London, the elder son (there were no daughters) of Arthur Crankshaw, later chief clerk to Old Street magistrates' court, and of his wife, Amy Bishop. He was small in stature and suffered from a weak chest, and the family soon moved out to ...

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Dyer, John (1653/4–1713), newsletter writer, is of unknown origins. By 1688 he was known as a coffee-house keeper in Whitefriars, London, and as the publisher of a manuscript newsletter, the circulation of which was estimated by Sir Roger L'Estrange to be about 'five hundred copies … spread over the kingdom' (...

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Foot, Paul Mackintosh (1937–2004), journalist, was born on 8 November 1937 in Haifa, Palestine, the son of Hugh Mackintosh Foot (1907–1990), later Baron Caradon, governor of Jamaica and Cyprus, and at the time an administrative officer in the Palestinian government, and his wife, ...

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Paul Mackintosh Foot (1937–2004) by Lewis Morley, 1965 © Lewis Morley, courtesy of The Akehurst Bureau; collection National Portrait Gallery, London