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Annesley, Richard, sixth earl of Anglesey (bap. 1693, d. 1761), kidnapper and bigamist, was baptized on 26 November 1693 at St Peter's Cathedral, Exeter, Devon, the third son of Dr Richard Annesley (1654/5–1701), dean of Exeter, from c.1700 third Baron Altham, and his wife, ...

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Berkeley, Lady Henrietta [Harriett] (b. in or after 1664, d. 1706), figure of scandal, was a younger daughter of George Berkeley, first earl of Berkeley (1626/7–1698), and his wife, Elizabeth (d. 1708), daughter of John Massingberd. Little is known of her early life. But in 1682 ...

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Billing, Noel Pemberton (1881–1948), aviator and self-publicist, was born on 31 January 1881 in Hampstead, the youngest child of Charles Eardley Billing, a Birmingham iron-founder, and his wife, Annie Emilia Claridge. He was educated at the high school, Hampstead; Cumming's College, outside Boulogne...

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Noel Pemberton Billing (1881–1948) by Elliott & Fry, 1920s © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Clare, Bogo de (1248–1294), ecclesiastic and figure of scandal, was born on 21 July 1248, the third son of Richard de Clare, earl of Gloucester and Hertford (1222–1262), and his second wife, Maud (d. 1288/9), daughter of John de Lacy, earl of Lincoln...

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Coventry [née Gunning], Maria, countess of Coventry (bap. 1732, d. 1760), figure of scandal, was born at Hemingford Grey Manor House, Huntingdonshire, an estate owned by her aunt, and baptized there on 15 August 1732, the eldest of the four daughters of ...

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Maria Coventry, countess of Coventry (bap. 1732, d. 1760) by Jean-Étienne Liotard, 1750–55 Rijksprentenkabinet, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

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Digby, Jane Elizabeth (1807–1881), adventuress, who was known successively as Lady Ellenborough, Baroness von Venningen Üllner, Countess Theotoky, and the Honourable Mrs Digby el Mesreb, was born on 3 April 1807, the eldest child of Captain, later Admiral, Sir Henry Digby (1770–1842) and his wife, ...

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Jane Elizabeth Digby (1807–1881) by Sir George Hayter, c. 1825 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Drummond, George Henry Charles Francis Malcolm, Viscount Forth (1834–1861), dipsomaniac, was born on 13 May 1834, in Naples, the only surviving child of George Drummond (1807–1902), soldier, and his first wife, the Countess Rapp, née Baroness Albertine von Rothberg Rheinweiler Coligni, (d...