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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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Horace Gundry Alexander (1889–1989) by Morland Braithwaite private collection

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Alexander, Horace Gundry (1889–1989), Quaker envoy and mediator, was born on 18 April 1889 at Croydon, Surrey, the youngest of four sons of Joseph Gundry Alexander (1848–1918), a Quaker barrister and advocate of international arbitration, and of Josephine Crosfield Alexander. He was educated at ...

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Anning, Mary (1799–1847), fossil collector and dealer, was born on 21 May 1799 in a seaside house in Lyme Regis, Dorset. She and her brother Joseph (1796–1849) were the only surviving children of Richard Anning (c.1766–1810), cabinet-maker and carpenter, and his wife, ...

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Mary Anning (1799–1847) by unknown artist, before 1842 © The Natural History Museum, London

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Ashford [married name Devlin], Margaret Mary Julia [Daisy] (1881–1972), child writer, was born on 7 April 1881 at Elm Lodge, Petersham, Surrey, the eldest of the three daughters of William Henry Roxburghe Ashford (1836–1912), a former official of the War Office, and his wife, ...

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Margaret Mary Julia Ashford (1881–1972) by unknown photographer, c. 1890 Getty Images

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W. B. Squire

revised by Anne Pimlott Baker

Aspull, George (1813–1832), pianist, was born in June 1813 in Manchester, the ninth of the ten sons of Thomas Aspull, an unsuccessful merchant who had turned to earning his living by teaching music and playing the violin. George Aspull began to learn the piano from his father in February 1821, and made such rapid progress that within four months he was playing ...

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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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Badley, John Haden (1865–1967), headmaster, was born on 21 February 1865 in Tower Street, Dudley, Worcestershire, the only son of James Payton Badley, surgeon, and his wife, Laura Elizabeth Best. He had three older sisters to whom he was always very close. The home atmosphere was restricted in some ways but very supportive and affectionate, and he enjoyed a happy childhood. ...

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Barlow, Sir Thomas, first baronet (1845–1945), physician, was born at Brantwood Fold, Edgworth, near Bolton, Lancashire, on 4 September 1845; he was the eldest of seven children of James Barlow (1821–1887) of Greenthorne, Edgworth, who established the cotton mills of Barlow and Jones...

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Sir Thomas Barlow, first baronet (1845–1945) by Catharine Dodgson, 1936 from the collection of the Athenaeum, London

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Barnard, Howard Clive (1884–1985), educational historian, was born on 7 June 1884 at 11 King Edward Street in the heart of the City of London, the only child of Howard Barnard, journalist, and his wife, Sarah Ann Haggis. During the eighteenth century his ancestors established a firm of silversmiths in the ...

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Beadon, Frederick (1777–1879), Church of England clergyman and centenarian, third son of the Revd Edward Beadon, rector of North Stoneham, Hampshire, was born in London on 6 December 1777. He was educated at Charterhouse School and at Trinity College, Oxford. He took orders in 1801, and was shortly afterwards presented by his uncle, ...

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Bell, Julia (1879–1979), geneticist, was born on 28 January 1879 at Sherwood, Nottinghamshire. She was tenth of the fourteen children of James Bell, printer, and Katherine Thomas Heap. She was educated at Nottingham Girls' High School and in 1898 entered Girton College, Cambridge...

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Bertorelli, Joe [Giuseppe Domenico] (1893–1994), restaurateur, was born on 10 June 1893 at Bergazzi di Bardi, Piacenza, Liguria, Italy, the youngest of the four sons of Lazzaro and Marianna Bertorelli. By the time of his birth his father and three elder brothers were already living and working in ...

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Blincoe, Robert (c. 1792–1860), factory apprentice, was a parish orphan who knew neither parent, did not know his place of birth, and was uncertain even about his name. Between the ages of four and seven he was brought up in St Pancras workhouse, London...

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Catherine Bramwell- Booth (1883–1987) by Snowdon, 1979 Snowdon / Camera Press, London; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Booth, Catherine Bramwell- (1883–1987), Salvation Army officer, was born on 20 July 1883 at Hadley Wood, Middlesex, the eldest in the family of two sons and five daughters of (William) Bramwell Booth (1856–1929), Salvation Army general, and his wife, Florence Eleanor Booth, née...

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Boothby, Penelope (1785–1791), artist's model and subject of poetry, was born at Lichfield, Staffordshire, on 11 April 1785, the daughter of Sir Brooke Boothby, seventh baronet (1744–1824), and his wife, Susanna (1755–1822), daughter and sole heir of Robert Bristoe or Bristow of Micheldever, Hampshire...