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Adams, Fanny (1859–1867), murder victim and source of a colloquial expression, was born on 30 April 1859 in Tanhouse Lane, Alton, Hampshire, the fourth of seven children of George Adams (b. 1830), a labourer, later a bricklayer, and his wife, Harriet Mills (...

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Alexander, Horace Gundry (1889–1989), Quaker envoy and mediator, was born on 18 April 1889 at Croydon, Surrey, the youngest of four sons of Joseph Gundry Alexander (1848–1918), a Quaker barrister and advocate of international arbitration, and of Josephine Crosfield Alexander. He was educated at ...

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Horace Gundry Alexander (1889–1989) by Morland Braithwaite private collection

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Mary Anning (1799–1847) by unknown artist, before 1842 © The Natural History Museum, London

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Anning, Mary (1799–1847), fossil collector and dealer, was born on 21 May 1799 in a seaside house in Lyme Regis, Dorset. She and her brother Joseph (1796–1849) were the only surviving children of Richard Anning (c.1766–1810), cabinet-maker and carpenter, and his wife, ...

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Ashford [married name Devlin], Margaret Mary Julia [Daisy] (1881–1972), child writer, was born on 7 April 1881 at Elm Lodge, Petersham, Surrey, the eldest of the three daughters of William Henry Roxburghe Ashford (1836–1912), a former official of the War Office, and his wife, ...

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Margaret Mary Julia Ashford (1881–1972) by unknown photographer, c. 1890 Getty Images

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W. B. Squire

revised by Anne Pimlott Baker

Aspull, George (1813–1832), pianist, was born in June 1813 in Manchester, the ninth of the ten sons of Thomas Aspull, an unsuccessful merchant who had turned to earning his living by teaching music and playing the violin. George Aspull began to learn the piano from his father in February 1821, and made such rapid progress that within four months he was playing ...

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Baartman, Sara [performing name the Hottentot Venus] (1777x88–1815/16), celebrity and subject of scientific speculation, was born in the Cape of Good Hope and was a member of the Khoisan people, who were also called Hottentot. Altick claims she was a daughter of a drover who had been killed by Bushmen, though nothing more is known of her parents. Her original name is not known, but as a servant of the Dutch farmer ...

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Badley, John Haden (1865–1967), headmaster, was born on 21 February 1865 in Tower Street, Dudley, Worcestershire, the only son of James Payton Badley, surgeon, and his wife, Laura Elizabeth Best. He had three older sisters to whom he was always very close. The home atmosphere was restricted in some ways but very supportive and affectionate, and he enjoyed a happy childhood. ...