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Barry, James (c. 1799–1865), army medical officer and transvestite, was probably born Margaret, the youngest daughter of Mrs Mary Ann Bulkley or Bulkeley, the sister of the artist James Barry; her paternity is in doubt. From the age of ten she dressed and presented herself as a man, but the woman who laid out her corpse declared that she was female: 'The Devil, a General,' said the attendant. 'It's a woman. And a woman that has had a child' (...

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James Barry (c. 1799–1865) by unknown photographer, c. 1860 [left, with a servant] Trustees of the Army Medical Services Museum

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Chester, Charles (c. 1554–1604), informer and wit, probably born in Bristol, was one of ten children of Dominic Chester (d. 1575), merchant and MP, and his wife, Mary (d. 1572), the daughter of Roger Barlow, merchant and explorer, and his wife, ...

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Davies [née Cavenaugh], Christian [Catherine] [alias Christopher or Richard Welsh; called Mother Ross] (1667–1739), female soldier, was, according to The Life and Adventures of Mrs. Christian Davies (1740), born Christian Cavenaugh in Dublin. She was raised by her parents on a farm at ...

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Hessel [née Smith], Phoebe (1713–1821), female soldier and centenarian, was probably born in Stepney, London. Her father was a 'drummer in the king's service' (Circulator, 147), but further details of her parents and upbringing are unknown. A tombstone in St Nicholas's churchyard, Brighton...

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Lawrence, Dorothy (1887/8–1964), journalist, soldier, and sexual impostor, was of uncertain origins, but by 1911 was a freelance journalist living in Kensington, London.

In 1914, at the start of the First World War, Lawrence was living in Paris. She contacted several British newspapers, offering to work as a war correspondent from the front line in ...

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Dorothy Lawrence (1887/88–1964) by unknown photographer, 1915 The British Library

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Thomas Pitt, second Baron Camelford (1775–1804) by unknown engraver (after C. Bond) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Pitt, Thomas, second Baron Camelford (1775–1804), naval officer and rake, was born on 19 February 1775 at Boconnoc House, Cornwall, the younger of two children of Thomas Pitt, first Baron Camelford (1737–1793), landowner and politician, and Anne (1738–1803), daughter of Pinckney Wilkinson, London...

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Hannah Snell (1723–1792) by John Faber junior, 1750 (after Richard Phelps) © National Portrait Gallery, London