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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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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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Blincoe, Robert (c. 1792–1860), factory apprentice, was a parish orphan who knew neither parent, did not know his place of birth, and was uncertain even about his name. Between the ages of four and seven he was brought up in St Pancras workhouse, London...

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Boothby, Penelope (1785–1791), artist's model and subject of poetry, was born at Lichfield, Staffordshire, on 11 April 1785, the daughter of Sir Brooke Boothby, seventh baronet (1744–1824), and his wife, Susanna (1755–1822), daughter and sole heir of Robert Bristoe or Bristow of Micheldever, Hampshire...

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Penelope Boothby (1785–1791) by Joshua Reynolds, 1788 private collection

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Bulger, James Patrick (1990–1993), murder victim, was born in Liverpool on 16 March 1990, the first child of Ralph S. Bulger (b. 1964) and his wife, Denise Matthews (b. 1965). A younger brother was born after his death, and his parents separated in 1994. The family lived in ...