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Britannia (fl. 1st–21st cent.), allegory of a nation, emblem of empire, and patriotic icon, is by origin a child of Rome, representing an outpost of the Roman empire. Her earliest known appearances did not augur well for her future: rock reliefs at Aphrodisias...

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Britannia (fl. 1st– cent.21st) by Jan Roettier, 1667 [reverse] © Copyright The British Museum

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Bull, John (supp. fl. 1712–), fictitious epitomist of Englishness and British imperialism, first appeared in print in The History of John Bull, a political allegory—sometimes wrongly attributed to Jonathan Swift, but now accepted as the work of John Arbuthnot, Queen Anne's physician. The ...

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John Bull (supp. fl. 1712–) by Charles Williams, c. 1816 © Copyright The British Museum

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Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready (1838–1909), defence strategist and advocate of imperial federation, second son of Lieutenant-General George Thomas Colomb (1788–1874), colonel of the 97th regiment, and his wife, Mary, daughter of Sir Abraham Bradley King, bt, of Corrard, co. Fermanagh, was born on the ...

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Sir John Charles Ready Colomb (1838–1909) by Bassano, c. 1894 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Fessenden [née Trenholme], Clementina (1845–1918), originator of Empire day, was born in the hamlet of Trenholme, Lower Canada, on 30 May 1845, the fourth daughter of Edward Trenholme (d. 1865), farmer and inventor, and Marion, née Ridley. Her grandparents William and Ann (Winn) Trenholme...

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Hawksley, Bourchier Francis (1851–1915), lawyer and imperialist, was born on 4 April 1851 at Barlborough, near Chesterfield, Derbyshire, the son of John Hawksley, a Church of England priest who in 1874 was commissioner to the bishop of Saskatchewan and in 1883 became an honorary canon of ...

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Jebb, Richard (1874–1953), publicist and theorist on imperial themes, was born at The Lyth, Ellesmere, Shropshire, on 16 October 1874, the second son in the family of two sons and five daughters of Arthur Trevor Jebb (1839–1894), landowner, and his wife, Eglantyne Louisa...

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Sir William Mackinnon, baronet (1823–1893) by Eveleen Myers © National Portrait Gallery, London