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Allston, Washington (1779–1843), painter and poet, was born on 5 November 1779 at Brook Green domain, All Saints' parish, in the district of Georgetown, South Carolina, the second of the two children of William Allston junior (d. 1781), a captain in General Francis Marion's...

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Kingsley Amis

revised by M. Clare Loughlin-Chow

Betjeman, Sir John (1906–1984), poet, writer, and broadcaster, was born on 28 August 1906 at 52 Parliament Hill Mansions, north London, the only child of Ernest Edward Betjemann (1872–1934), a furniture manufacturer, and his wife, Mabel Bessie Dawson (1879–1952). The family name, of Dutch or German origin, can be traced back to an immigration in the late eighteenth century. The poet adopted his style of it about the age of twenty-one....

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Sir John Betjeman (1906–1984) by Sir Cecil Beaton, 1955 © Cecil Beaton Archive, Sotheby's

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Binyon, (Robert) Laurence (1869–1943), poet and art historian, was born on 10 August 1869 at 1 High Street, Lancaster, the second of the nine children of Frederick Binyon (1838–1900), vicar of Burton in Lonsdale, Yorkshire, and his wife, Mary (1839–1919), daughter of Robert Benson Dockray (1811–1871)...

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(Robert) Laurence Binyon (1869–1943) by William Strang, 1898 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

T. F. Henderson

revised by Michael Marker

Bisset, James (1762?–1832), artist and writer of verse, was born in Perth, the son of a merchant. He received his early education at a dame-school. He developed early a love of art and literature and from the age of nine began regularly to take the ...

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Blake, William (1757–1827), engraver, artist, and poet, was born on 28 November 1757 at 28 Broad Street, Soho, London, the third son of James Blake (1723?–1784), a hosier, and his wife, Catherine, née Wright (1723–1792), the widow of Thomas Armitage. Blake had four brothers, ...

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William Blake (1757–1827) by Thomas Phillips, 1807 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

W. E. A. Axon

revised by Sarah Couper

Castillo, John (1792–1845), stonemason, poet, and preacher, was born at Rathfarnham, near Dublin. When he was two or three years old his parents, who were Roman Catholics, emigrated to England, and on the voyage were shipwrecked off the Isle of Man. They settled in the hamlet of ...

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Colquhoun, (Margaret) Ithell (1906–1988), painter and poet, was born on 9 October 1906 at Shillong, Assam, India, the daughter of Henry Archibald Colebrooke Colquhoun (1870–1942), assistant to the political agent in Manipur, and Georgia Frances Ithell Manley (b. 1873). She was educated at ...

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Dubsky, Mario Peter (1939–1985), painter and poet, was conceived in Vienna and born in London on 14 May 1939. He was one of two sons, non-identical twins, whose parents were refugees from Austria. His parents, who later had a daughter, were Christians of Jewish origin who spoke German at home when he was young; they made belts and decorative flowers from leather. He failed the 11-plus examination twice, and was educated at a progressive school, ...

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Duncombe [née Highmore], Susanna (1725–1812), artist and poet, was born on 5 December 1725 at the Two Lions, 24 Holborn Row, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, the second child of Joseph Highmore (1692–1780), a painter, and his wife, Susanna Hiller (1689/90–1750) [see...

Article

Gordon Goodwin

revised by Anne Pimlott Baker

Eagles, John (1783–1855), art critic and poet, was born in Bristol and baptized there on 8 November 1783 in the parish of St Augustine, the second of the two children, and only son, of Thomas Eagles (bap. 1746, d. 1812), merchant and classical scholar, and his wife, ...

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Finlay, Ian Hamilton (1925–2006), poet, artist, and gardener, was born in Nassau, Bahamas, on 28 October 1925, the son of James Hamilton Finlay and his wife, Annie Whitelaw, née Pettigrew. According to his son James Finlay was a bootlegger who smuggled rum into the ...

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See Finzi, Gerald Raphael

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Goddard [née Egan], Mary (bap. 1717, d. 1752), poet and milliner, was baptized on 12 July 1717 at St Nicholas Within, Dublin, the daughter of Mary, whose maiden name was probably Colwell, and Terence Egan, variously styled 'Mr.' or 'Gent.' in the parish registers. ...

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Gyles, Margaret Alethea [known as Althea Gyles] (1868–1949), artist and poet, was born in Kilmurry, co. Cork, Ireland, the daughter of ‘mad’ George Gyles and his wife, Alithea Emma, daughter of the Hon. and Revd Edward Grey, bishop of Hereford. Her family, from ...

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Heere, Lucas de (1534–1584), painter and poet, was born in Ghent, the second son of Jan de Heere, a sculptor, and Anna Smijters, a miniaturist. Having presumably received some training at home, he was apprenticed to Frans Floris. The painter and biographer Karel van Mander...

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Henri, Adrian Maurice (1932–2000), poet and painter, was born on 10 April 1932 in the maternity hospital at Tranmere, Birkenhead, Cheshire, the eldest child of Arthur Maurice Henri (1898–1970), a dancing instructor and war department clerk, and Emma Johnson (d. 1970). His paternal grandfather, ...

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Hodgson, Ralph Edwin (1871–1962), poet and cartoonist, born at 2 Garden Street, Darlington, co. Durham, on 9 September 1871, the sixth son in the family of seven sons and three daughters of Ralph Hodgson (1834–1884), coal and coke merchant, and Mary Hodgson, née...