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Batchelor, Thomas (1775–1838), farmer and writer on language, was born on 25 September 1775 at Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, the fifth child of Joseph Batchelor (1741–1804) and Ann Brandon (d. 1792), farmers. He was baptized in 1785 at Ampthill where, from the age of ten to thirteen, he went to school. At this time, spelling book fables were the only texts he could read with any real sense of enjoyment, his particular favourite being ...

Article

Batey [née Lever], Mavis Lilian (1921–2013), code-breaker and garden historian, was born on 5 May 1921 at 20 Crebor Street, Dulwich, London, the only daughter and younger child of Frederick (formerly Fred, later Stanley Frederick) Lever (1887/8–1971) and his wife, Lily Elizabeth, ...

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Beales, Peter Leslie (1936–2013), rose breeder and historian, was born on 22 July 1936 at May Farm, Banningham, Norfolk, the elder child and only son of Evelyn May Beales (1916–2006), domestic servant, who in 1938 married Walter John Howes (1900–1970). He was brought up for his first eight years by his maternal grandparents and their family, and then by his mother and stepfather. He rejoiced in his early childhood and the garden where he recalled that the only ornamental plant among greens and vegetables was a fine bush of the rose ‘Maiden's blush’ cherished by his grandfather (who died when ...

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Beckford, William (1744–1799), sugar planter and historian, was born in Jamaica in 1744, the son and heir of Richard Beckford (d. 1756) and his common-law wife, Elizabeth Hay. His uncle was William Beckford, lord mayor of London, and his first cousin was ...

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William Beckford (1744–1799) by unknown engraver, pubd 1799 (after John? Miers) © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Blundell, William (1620–1698), royalist landowner and topographer, was born on 15 July 1620 at Crosby Hall, Little Crosby, Lancashire, the second son of Nicholas Blundell (c.1590–1631) and Jane (d. 1640), daughter of Roger Bradshaigh of Haigh, near Wigan. In 1635 at the age of fifteen he married, in ...

Article

Bridges, Thomas (c. 1842–1898), dictionary compiler, missionary, and sheep farmer, was found abandoned, perhaps on a bridge near Bristol, aged about two and a half, and taken to an orphanage, the name of which remains unknown. He was adopted by the Revd George Pakenham Despard...

Article

A. H. Bullen

Reviser: Karl Showler

Butler, Charles (1560–1647), philologist and apiarist, was born at High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire. He entered Magdalen Hall, Oxford, in 1579, and afterwards became a bible-clerk at Magdalen College, where he took his BA in 1584, and MA in 1587. After leaving the university he became rector of ...

Article

J. M. Rigg

Reviser: Lionel Alexander Ritchie

Clark, John (d. 1807), scholar of Scottish Gaelic literature and land agent, was, in the astringent judgement of the Celtic scholar Alexander Macbain, 'James Macpherson's fellow Badenoch man, contemporary, friend, and sincere imitator in poetry and literary honesty' (Macbain, 186). In 1778 ...

Article

Clarke, Cuthbert (1728/9–1790), writer and lecturer on natural philosophy and agriculture, was probably born in Belford in Northumberland, though his origins are obscure. He spent the early and middle parts of his life in the north-east of England; having left Belford he lived in ...