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À Beckett, Gilbert Abbott (1811–1856), comic writer and police magistrate, was born at The Grange, Hampstead, Middlesex, on 17 February 1811, the third son of William A'Beckett (1777–1855), a reform solicitor, and his wife, Sarah Abbott. His forebears were an ancient Wiltshire family, who traced their ancestry back to the fourteenth century and claimed descent from ...

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Gilbert Abbott À Beckett (1811–1856) attrib. Charles Couzens, 1855 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Abercromby, Alexander, Lord Abercromby (1745–1795), judge and essayist, was born on 15 October 1745, probably at Menstrie, Clackmannanshire, the fourth and youngest son of George Abercromby of Tullibody, Clackmannanshire (1705–1800), who had trained as an advocate, and his wife, Mary (d. 1767)...

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Brackenridge, Hugh Henry [formerly Hugh Montgomery Breckenridge] (1748–1816), writer and judge, was born Hugh Montgomery Breckenridge, probably at Ballivulune, near Campbeltown, Argyll, the only son of William Breckenridge, a farmer. Impoverished following the Jacobite rising, the family emigrated to the Barrens, York county, Pennsylvania...

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George William Wilshere Bramwell, Baron Bramwell (1808–1892) by London Stereoscopic Co., after 1862 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bramwell, George William Wilshere, Baron Bramwell (1808–1892), judge and political pamphleteer, was born at 22 Finch Lane, Cornhill, London, on 12 June 1808, the son of George Bramwell, banker, and his wife, Elizabeth Martha, née Frith. Frederick Joseph Bramwell was his younger brother. He was educated at the Revd Martin Ready's school at Peckham, and then at the ...

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Chapman, Henry Samuel (1803–1881), journalist and colonial judge, was born at Kennington, Surrey, on 21 July 1803, the son of Henry Chapman, a civil servant, and his wife, Ann Hart, née Davies. After attending schools in Bromley and London, he emigrated to Canada...

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Cockburn, Henry, Lord Cockburn (1779–1854), author and judge, was born in or near Edinburgh, on 26 October 1779, the son of Archibald Cockburn (d. 1820), and his wife, Janet Rannie. His father was one of the learned lairds who made up the country's ...

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Henry Cockburn, Lord Cockburn (1779–1854) by Sir John Watson-Gordon, exh. Royal Scottish Academy 1853 Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Creech, William [pseud. Theophrastus] (1745–1815), bookseller and magistrate, was born in Newbattle, Edinburghshire, on 12 May 1745, the son of the Revd William Creech (1705–1745), minister of Newbattle, and his wife, the Calvinist Mary Buley (d. 1764) of the English family of ...

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T. F. Henderson

revised by Matthew Kilburn

Cullen, Robert, Lord Cullen (1742–1810), judge and essayist, was born on 22 September 1742 and baptized in the parish of Hamilton, Lanarkshire, on 28 September, the eldest son of William Cullen (1710–1790), physician, and his wife, Anna Johnstone (d. 1786). He was educated at the ...

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Henry Fielding (1707–1754) by unknown engraver, after 1762 (after William Hogarth) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Fielding, Henry (1707–1754), author and magistrate, was born on 22 April 1707 at Sharpham Park, near Glastonbury, Somerset, the eldest of the seven children of Colonel Edmund Fielding (1680–1741), a veteran of Marlborough's wars who would rise to the rank of lieutenant-general, and ...

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Home [Hume], Sir David, of Crossrig, Lord Crossrig (1643–1707), judge and diarist, was born on 23 May 1643, the second son of Sir John Home (d. 1656) of Blackadder, Berwickshire, and of Mary (d. 1678), daughter of Sir James Dundas of ...

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Hoskins, John (1566–1638), poet and judge, was the second son of John Hoskins (d. 1607), a yeoman farmer of Monkton, or Mouncton, near Llanwarne, Herefordshire, and his wife, Margery (née Jones) (fl. 1534–1617). Aubrey claims that Hoskins did not learn to read until he was ten, but then 'at the yeare's end, entred into his Greeke grammar' (...

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Francis Jeffrey, Lord Jeffrey (1773–1850) by Sir Henry Raeburn, in or before 1812 photograph by courtesy Sotheby's Picture Library, London

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Jeffrey, Francis, Lord Jeffrey (1773–1850), writer and judge, was born on 23 October 1773 at 7 Charles Street, off George Square, Edinburgh, the elder son and third of five children of George Jeffrey (1742–1812), depute clerk in the Court of Session, and Henrietta...

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C. A. H. Crosse

revised by Joseph Coohill

Knox, Alexander Andrew (1818–1891), journalist and police magistrate, the second son of George Knox, a landowner in Jamaica, was born in London on 5 February 1818. He was educated at Blundell's School, Tiverton, and went with a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge (BA 1844, MA 1847). He was called to the ...

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Leon, Henry Cecil [pseud. Henry Cecil] (1902–1976), writer and judge, was born on 19 September 1902 at the rectory, Norwood Green, Middlesex, the youngest of the three sons (there were no daughters) of Joseph Abraham Leon, analytical chemist, and his wife, Esther Phoebe Defries...

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Maning, Frederick Edward (1811/12–1883), writer and judge in New Zealand, was born on 5 July 1811 or 1812 in Dublin, the eldest of the three sons of Frederick Maning of Johnville, co. Dublin, and his wife, Mary Barrett. Both his parents were from Anglo-Irish protestant families of moderate wealth. In 1824 the family emigrated to ...