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Colefax [née Halsey], Sibyl Sophie Julia, Lady Colefax (1874–1950), hostess and interior decorator, was born on 4 December 1874, at The Poplars, Wimbledon Common, Surrey (the house of her uncle, Walter Bagehot). She was the third but only surviving daughter (and fifth and last child) of ...

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Matthew Darly (c. 1720–?1778) self-portrait, pubd 1771 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Darly, Matthias (c. 1720–1780), designer and printseller, is of obscure origins: nothing is known of his parents or his early life. In 1735 he was apprenticed to the clockmaker Umfraville Sampson, implying that he was probably born about 1720. In 1749 he was one of several printsellers rounded up by the government for questioning about several satirical prints which ridiculed the ...

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Innes, Jocasta Claire Traill (1934–2013), journalist, cookery writer, and interior design writer, was born on 21 May 1934 in Nanking (Nanjing), China, the eldest of four children of Paul Joseph Anthony Innes (1906–1977), a Shell Oil executive, and his wife, Alice Eileen, née...

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Owen Jones (1809–1874) by Henry Wyndham Phillips, 1856 RIBA Library Photographs Collection

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Jones, Owen (1809–1874), architect, printer, and designer, was born on 15 February 1809 at 148 Thames Street, London, the second of the three children of Owen Jones (1741–1814) and his wife, Hannah Jane (1772/3–1838). His father was a furrier and a distinguished Welsh antiquary. ...

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Mason, William (1725–1797), poet and garden designer, was born on 12 February 1725 at Holy Trinity Church vicarage, Vicar Lane, Kingston upon Hull, the only son of the Revd William Mason (1694–1753), incumbent of Holy Trinity from 1722 to 1753, and his first wife, ...

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William Mason (1725–1797) by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1774 Pembroke College, Cambridge

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McLean, (John David) Ruari McDowall Hardie (1917–2006), typographer and author, was born on 10 June 1917 at Herouncroft, Minnigaff, Newton Stewart, Kirkcudbrightshire, the only child of John Thomson McLean, a customs and excise officer, whose own father had been a shoemaker from Stranraer...

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Meynell, Sir Francis Meredith Wilfrid (1891–1975), typographer and publisher, was born on 12 May 1891 at 47 Palace Court, Bayswater, London, the youngest of seven children (three sons and four daughters) of Wilfrid John Meynell (1852–1948), manager of the publishing firm Burns and Oates...