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Ayres, Alice (1859–1885), domestic servant and heroine, was born in Isleworth, Middlesex, on 12 September 1859, the fourth daughter and seventh of ten children of John Ayres (1820–1889), labourer, and his wife, Mary-Ann, née Harris (1826–1895). She attended the village school in Isleworth...

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Alice Ayres (1859–1885) by unknown artist, 1885 © Illustrated London News Ltd / Mary Evans

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Bowker, Agnes (b. 1541/2), servant and alleged mother of a cat, was the daughter of Henry Bowker, a yeoman or butcher of Market Harborough, Leicestershire, and suffered from fits of 'the falling sickness' or epilepsy. Although she described being once sent to live in ...

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Carryl, Mary (d. 1809), servant and friend of the Ladies of Llangollen, was one of at least three children of humble parents from Ross, co. Wexford. Little is known of her background or upbringing, but her forceful personality was apparent at an early age; it was reported that as a young woman 'she went by the name of ...