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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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See Aitken, William Maxwell, first Baron Beaverbrook

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See Henry Frederick, Prince, duke of Cumberland and Strathearn

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See American Indians in England

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Astor [née Langhorne], Nancy Witcher, Viscountess Astor (1879–1964), society hostess and politician, was born at Danville, Virginia, on 19 May 1879, the eighth child in a family of eleven. Her father, Chiswell Dabney Langhorne (1843–1919), a veteran of the American Civil War, had made his fortune in railway construction and bought an estate at ...

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Nancy Witcher Astor, Viscountess Astor (1879–1964) by George Charles Beresford, 1920 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Baartman, Sara [performing name the Hottentot Venus] (1777x88–1815/16), celebrity and subject of scientific speculation, was born in the Cape of Good Hope and was a member of the Khoisan people, who were also called Hottentot. Altick claims she was a daughter of a drover who had been killed by Bushmen, though nothing more is known of her parents. Her original name is not known, but as a servant of the Dutch farmer ...

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Balfour [née Lytton], Elizabeth Edith [Betty], countess of Balfour (1867–1942), social hostess and biographer, was born on 12 June 1867 at Hyde Park Gate, London, the eldest of the five surviving children of Edward Robert Bulwer-Lytton, first earl of Lytton (1831–1891), viceroy, diplomat, and poet, 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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Bosville, William (1745–1813), society host and radical, was born on 21 July 1745, the eldest son of Godfrey Bosville of Gunthwaite, Yorkshire, and his wife, Diana, the eldest daughter of Sir William Wentworth, baronet, of West Bretton. Bosville was able to trace his family back to the reign of ...

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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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Brookes [née Emmerton], Dame Mabel Balcombe (1890–1975), socialite and charity worker, was born on 15 June 1890 at Raveloe, South Yarra, Melbourne, Australia, the only child of Harry Emmerton (1845–1927), an English born solicitor, and his wife, Alice Mabel Maude (1865–1923), a daughter of ...

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(Beatrice) Romaine Mary Brooks (1874–1970) self-portrait, 1923 National Museum of American Art, Washington DC / Art Resource, NY

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Brooks [née Goddard], (Beatrice) Romaine Mary (1874–1970), painter and lesbian icon, was born in a hotel in Rome on 1 May 1874, the third of three children of Major Harry Goddard, army officer, and his wife, Ella Waterman (d. 1902), who were both American citizens. Her father was reputed to be an alcoholic, and her parents divorced not long after her birth. Her mother was very rich, having a number of residences in various European countries. Despite this she seems to have spent little time or money on her two daughters, reserving most of her affection for her sickly and unstable son, ...

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George Bryan Brummell [Beau Brummell] (1778–1840) by R. Dighton, 1805 unknown collection; photograph © Christie's Images Ltd

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Brummell, George Bryan [known as Beau Brummell] (1778–1840), dandy and socialite, was born on 7 June 1778 in Downing Street, Westminster, the last of three children of William (Billy) Brummell (d. 1794), private secretary to the prime minister, Lord North, and his wife, ...

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Charles Buller (1806–1848) by Edward Scriven, pubd 1840 (after Bryan Edward Duppa) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Buller, Charles (1806–1848), politician and wit, was born in Calcutta on 6 August 1806, the son of Charles Buller (1774–1848), civil servant in India and politician, and his wife, Barbara Isabella Kirkpatrick (d. 1849), daughter of Major-General William Kirkpatrick of the East India Company...

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See Bunsen, Christian Karl Josias von, Baron von Bunsen in the Prussian nobility

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Butler, Lady (Charlotte) Eleanor (1739–1829), elder of the two Ladies of Llangollen, was born at Cambrai, the youngest daughter of Walter Butler of Garryricken (1703–1783) and his wife, Eleanor (d. 1794), daughter of Nicholas Morres of Latargh, co. Tipperary. Her father was the only lineal representative of ...