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Adams, Fanny (1859–1867), murder victim and source of a colloquial expression, was born on 30 April 1859 in Tanhouse Lane, Alton, Hampshire, the fourth of seven children of George Adams (b. 1830), a labourer, later a bricklayer, and his wife, Harriet Mills (...

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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, ...

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Biggs, Ronald Arthur [Ronnie] (1929–2013), criminal and fugitive, was born on 8 August 1929 at 37 Dalyell Road, Stockwell, south London, the youngest child in the family of four sons and one daughter of Henry Jack Biggs (1888–1965), a railway dining car steward, and his wife, ...

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Bowes, Mary Eleanor, countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne (1749–1800), heiress and victim of kidnapping, was born on 24 February 1749, the only child of George Bowes MP (1701–1760), of Streatlam Castle and Gibside, co. Durham, and his second wife, Mary (d. 1781)...

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Chester, Charles (c. 1554–1604), informer and wit, probably born in Bristol, was one of ten children of Dominic Chester (d. 1575), merchant and MP, and his wife, Mary (d. 1572), the daughter of Roger Barlow, merchant and explorer, and his wife, ...

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Robert Feilding (1650/5151–1712) by Jan van der Vaart, c.1678-79 (after Sir Peter Lely) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Feilding, Robert (1650/51–1712), rake and bigamist, was born at Solihull, Warwickshire, the son of George Feilding, landowner, a kinsman of the earl of Denbigh. Nothing is known about his mother. He was admitted to the Middle Temple in 1673, but upon inheriting £600...

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See Herbert, Philip, first earl of Montgomery and fourth earl of Pembroke

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Hill, George (c. 1716–1808), lawyer and eccentric, was born at Waddington, Lincolnshire, the eldest son of Nathaniel Hill MA (d. 1732), rector of Waddington and lord of the manor of Rothwell, Northamptonshire. As well as his father, his brother and two uncles were clergymen. ...

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Adolphus George Charles Liddell (1846–1920) by Julia Margaret Cameron, c. 1867 NMPFT / Science & Society Picture Library

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Liddell, Adolphus George Charles (1846–1920), society figure and lawyer, was born at Bramham House, near Tadcaster, on 29 June 1846, the elder of the two sons of the Hon. Sir Adolphus Frederick Octavius Liddell (1818–1885), under-secretary at the Home Office, eighth son of the ...

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See Henry Frederick, Prince, duke of Cumberland and Strathearn

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P. A. Landon

revised by Mark Pottle

Mathew, Theobald (1866–1939), lawyer and wit, was born in London on 5 December 1866, the elder son of the judge Sir James Charles Mathew (1830–1908) and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Edwin Biron, vicar of Lympne, Kent. The family hailed from Tipperary and ...

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Rudd [née Youngson], Margaret Caroline (b. c. 1745, d. in or before 1798?), courtesan and accused forger, was born in Lurgan, co. Armagh. Much was written of her life and exploits but little can be verified. Her father, Patrick Youngson, was reported to have been an apothecary; her mother, ...

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Skeffington, Clotworthy, second earl of Massereene (1742–1805), landowner and debtor, was the son of Clotworthy Skeffington, sixth viscount and first earl of Massereene (d. 1757), and his second wife, Anne, daughter of Henry Eyre of Rowter, Derbyshire. He was born on 28 January 1742 in ...

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(Lillias Irma) Valerie Arkell- Smith (1895–1960) by unknown photographer, 1926 by permission of the E. O. Hoppé Trust, Curatorial Assistance, Inc., Los Angeles

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Smith, (Lillias Irma) Valerie Arkell- [née Lillias Irma Valerie Barker] (1895–1960), sexual impostor and perjurer, was born on 27 August 1895 in St Clements, Jersey, the daughter of Thomas William Barker (1857–1918), gentleman farmer and architect, and his wife, Lillias Adelaide Hill (1868–1923)...

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Warner, Samuel Alfred (1793/4–1853), charlatan, was born at Heathfield, Sussex, the son of William Warner, a carpenter. His own fanciful account of his early years was contradicted by information later confided to Sir Robert Peel when Peel was becoming convinced of Warner's deceit (...

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Wilson, Edward [called Beau Wilson] (d. 1694), murder victim and subject of alleged sexual scandal, was the fifth son of Thomas Wilson (d. 1699) of Keythorpe, Leicestershire, and his wife, Anne (d. 1722), eldest daughter of the Cromwellian peer Sir Christopher Packe (c. 1599–1682)...