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Boruwlaski, Joseph [formerly Józef Boruslawski], styled Count Boruwlaski (1739–1837), travelling performer and memoirist, was born in November 1739 near Halicz, Galicia, Poland, the third son of a lower gentry family. The principal source for his life is his own memoirs, published in several editions between 1788 and 1820. When he was nine his father died, leaving a widow with five sons and one daughter. Three sons were very tall, but three children suffered from achondroplasia, an inherited condition in which the cartilage in the bones fails to grow. ...

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Joseph Carey Merrick [the Elephant Man] (1862–1890) by unknown photographer, c. 1889 Royal London Hospital Archives and Museum

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Merrick, Joseph Carey [called the Elephant Man] (1862–1890), freak show novelty and medical curiosity, was born at 50 Lee Street, Leicester, on 5 August 1862, the elder son (there was also a daughter) of Joseph Rockley Merrick (b. 1835/6), a warehouseman and machine operator in a cotton factory, and ...

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Richard Nash (1674–1761) by Nathaniel Hone, 1750 © The Trustees of the Holburne Museum of Art, Bath

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Nash, Richard [known as Beau Nash] (1674–1761), master of ceremonies and social celebrity, was born on 18 October 1674 at St Mary's Street, Swansea, the son of Richard Nash, a glass maker of modest means, and his wife, the niece of the royalist army officer ...

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Zavaroni, Lena Hilda (1963–1999), popular singer and entertainer, was born on 4 November 1963 at the Rankin Memorial Hospital, Greenock, Renfrewshire, the first of two daughters of Victor Alfredo Zavaroni and his wife, Hilda Catherine, née Jordan (d. 1989), who owned a fish and chip shop in their home town, ...