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Percy Hoskins

revised by Michael Bevan

Adams, John Bodkin (1899–1983), general practitioner and forger, was born on 20 January 1899 in Randalstown, co. Antrim, the elder son of Samuel Adams, watchmaker, and his wife, Ellen Bodkin (d. 1943), formerly of Desertmartin, co. Tyrone. The younger son was born in 1903 and died of pneumonia in 1916. Shortly after ...

Article

Thompson Cooper

revised by J. Gilliland

Ady, Joseph (1775/6–1852), fraudster, was the son of John Ady (1743/4–1812), a recording clerk for the Society of Friends. He was a hatter, hosier, and accountant at various times, in premises at 11 The Circus, Minories, London, and 6 Charlotte Street, Wapping. Failing in business, he devised a means of extracting money from the credulous. He would look up the lists of unclaimed inheritances, dividends, and bequests, and then write, without stamping his letters, to any people of those names that he could find, offering to produce 'something to their advantage' on payment of ...

Article

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, ...

Article

Backhouse, Sir Edmund Trelawny, second baronet (1873–1944), Sinologist and fraudster, eldest of the four surviving sons of Jonathan Edmund Backhouse, first baronet (1849–1918), a banker, and Florence (1845–1902), youngest daughter of Sir John Salusbury Salusbury-Trelawny, was born on 20 October 1873 at The Rookery, Middleton Tyas, Yorkshire...

Article

Steven C. Bullock

Bell, Thomas (b. 1713), fraudster, was born on 18 February 1713 in Boston, Massachusetts, the first of three recorded children of Thomas Bell (d. 1729), sea captain and shipwright, and his wife, Johanna Adams. The younger Thomas, who became known as Tom Bell...

Article

Bolland, James (c. 1727–1772), sheriff's officer and forger, was probably born in the parish of St Olave, Southwark, reputedly the son of a butcher, who, according to A True and Genuine Account of the Life (1772), died while Bolland was a child; his mother, who survived her husband, supported herself and ...

Article

Bolron, Robert (fl. 1665–1682), informer and perjurer, was born in Newcastle upon Tyne. Apprenticed to a jeweller in London, he left after a year to become a foot soldier at Tynemouth Castle. During the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665–7) he served on a frigate. In 1674 ...

Article

Bottomley, Horatio William (1860–1933), journalist and swindler, was the only son of William King Bottomley (1827–1863), a tailor's cutter, and his wife, Elizabeth, née Holyoake. He was born on 23 March 1860 at 16 St Peter's Street, Bethnal Green, London. Orphaned by the age of four, ...

Image

Horatio William Bottomley (1860–1933) by Bassano, 1918 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Broun, Sir Richard, eighth baronet (1801–1858), pamphleteer and fraudster, was born at Lochmaben, Dumfriesshire, on 22 April 1801, eldest of the four sons and one daughter of Sir James Broun (1768–1844) of Coalston Park, Lochmaben, and his first wife, Marian, née Henderson (...