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Abbott, George (1604–1649), writer and politician, was born in 1604 and baptized on 13 March at St Mary Bishophill Junior, York, the son of George Abbott (d. 1607) of York and Joan, the daughter of Aleyn Penkeston. Both Abbott's father and grandfather ...

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Abercrombie, Lascelles (1881–1938), poet and literary critic, was born at Manor House, Ashton upon Mersey, Cheshire, on 9 January 1881, the sixth son, and the tenth of eleven children (two of whom died in childhood), of William Abercrombie (1838–1908), stockbroker, of Ashton upon Mersey...

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Abrahams, Doris Caroline [pseud. Caryl Brahms] (1901–1982), writer and songwriter, was born at 28 Morland Road, Croydon, Surrey, on 8 December 1901, the only child of Henry Clarence Abrahams, a wholesale jeweller, and his wife, Pearl, one of the twenty-one children of ...

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Ackerley, Joe Randolph (1896–1967), writer and literary editor, was born on 4 November 1896 at 4 Warmington Road, Herne Hill, south London, the younger son and second of the three children of Alfred Roger Ackerley (1863–1929), fruit importer, of London, and his mistress, ...

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Acton, Marion Jean Catherine [Jeanie] Adams- [formerly Jeanie Hering] (1846–1928), writer, was born Marion Hamilton on 21 June 1846, in Brodick, Isle of Arran, Scotland, the daughter of Edith Hamilton and an unidentified Scottish nobleman. Before the age of four she was adopted by ...

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Adam [née King], Ruth Augusta (1907–1977), writer and feminist, was born on 14 December 1907 at the vicarage in Arnold, a mining parish in Nottinghamshire, the second of the four children of the Revd Rupert William King (1874–1955), a Church of England...

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Adams, Douglas Noël (1952–2001), writer, was born on 11 March 1952 at the maternity hospital in Cambridge, the son of Christopher Douglas Adams (d. 1985) and his wife, Janet Dora Sydney, née Donovan.

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Douglas Noël Adams (1952–2001) by Brian Griffin, 1986 © Brian Griffin; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Adams, Francis William Lauderdale (1862–1893), writer, was born on 27 September 1862 at Valletta in Malta. The grandson of the Scottish classicist and medical scholar Francis Adams (1796–1861), he was the first of two sons born to Andrew Leith Adams (1827–1882), army surgeon and natural historian, and his wife, ...

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Addison, Joseph (1672–1719), writer and politician, was born on 1 May 1672 at the rectory, Milston, a hamlet north of Amesbury in Wiltshire, the son of Lancelot Addison (1632–1703) and his wife, Jane, née Gulston (c.1635?–1684). His father was at that time vicar of ...

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Aickman, Robert Fordyce (1914–1981), writer and campaigner for inland waterways, was born on 27 June 1914 at 77 Fellows Road, Hampstead, London, the only child of William Arthur Aickman (1858-1941), an architect, and his wife, Mabel Violet (1890–1943), daughter of ...

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Robert Fordyce Aickman (1914–1981) by Ida Kar, late 1950s © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Ainger, Alfred [pseud. Doubleday] (1837–1904), writer and Church of England clergyman, born at 10 Doughty Street, London, on 9 February 1837, was the youngest of the four children of Alfred Ainger (1797–1859) and his first wife, Marianne Jagger (d. 1839) of ...

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Alfred Ainger (1837–1904) by George Du Maurier, c. 1881 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

T. F. Henderson

revised by Douglas Brown

Ainslie, Robert (1766–1838), writer, was born on 13 January 1766, at Berrywell, near Duns, Berwickshire, the son of Robert Ainslie (1734–1795), factor to Lord Douglas, and his wife, Catharine Whitelaw. His younger brother was Sir Whitelaw Ainslie (1767–1837). In 1787, while apprenticed to ...

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T. F. Henderson

revised by H. C. G. Matthew

Aitken, John (1793–1833), writer, was born at the village of Camelon, Stirlingshire, on 25 March 1793. After a good elementary school education, he became a clerk in the East Lothian Bank, from where he was transferred to the bank of Mr Park (one of the brothers of ...

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Albert, Harold [formerly Harold Albert Kemp; pseud. Helen Cathcart] (1909–1997), author and journalist, was born on 15 April 1909 at 48 Marsala Road, Lewisham, the son of Albert William Kemp, builder, and his wife, Mabel, the daughter of Frederick Read, dramatic reciter. He was educated at ...

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Alcock [née Cumberland], Mary (1741?–1798), writer, was the youngest of four children of Bishop Denison Cumberland (1705/6–1774) and Joanna Bentley (1704/5–1775), daughter of Dr Richard Bentley, classical scholar and master of Trinity College, Cambridge. The third of three daughters, and the sister of ...

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Aldington, Edward Godfree [Richard] (1892–1962), writer, was born on 8 July 1892 at 50 High Street, Portsmouth, the eldest among the two sons and two daughters of Albert Edward Aldington (1864–1921), bookseller and stationer, and later solicitor's clerk and amateur author, and Jessie May Godfree (1872–1954)...

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Alexander Alexander (b. 1781/22) by Thomas Hodgetts, pubd 1830 (after Sir John Watson-Gordon) © National Portrait Gallery, London