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John Travers Cornwell (1900–1916) by unknown photographer The Imperial War Museum, London

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Cornwell, John Travers [Jack] (1900–1916), naval hero, was born on 8 January 1900, at Clyde Cottage, Clyde Place, Leyton, Essex, the son of Eli Cornwell (1852–1916), tram driver and soldier, originally from Newmarket, and his wife, Lily King (d. 1918). His siblings included at least two brothers (one of whom was killed in action in August 1918) and a sister. He was educated at ...

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John Crawford (1775–1831) by D. Orme, pubd 1797 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Crawford, John [Jack] (1775–1831), sailor and naval hero, was born on 22 March 1775 at a house on Thornhill Bank in the east end of Sunderland, co. Durham, the son of a keelman. At an early age Crawford also worked on the keelboats that carried coal on the ...

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Oliver, Sir Henry Francis (1865–1965), naval officer, born in Lochside, near Kelso, on 22 January 1865, was the fifth child in a family of seven sons and three daughters of Robert Oliver and his wife, Margaret Strickland. To his father, who came from sound yeoman stock and farmed ...

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Pitt, Thomas, second Baron Camelford (1775–1804), naval officer and rake, was born on 19 February 1775 at Boconnoc House, Cornwall, the younger of two children of Thomas Pitt, first Baron Camelford (1737–1793), landowner and politician, and Anne (1738–1803), daughter of Pinckney Wilkinson, London...

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Thomas Pitt, second Baron Camelford (1775–1804) by unknown engraver (after C. Bond) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Snell, Hannah [alias James Gray] (1723–1792), sexual impostor, was born on 23 April 1723 in Friar Street, St Helen's, Worcester, the eighth of nine children of Samuel Snell, a hosier, and his wife, Mary Williams. Robert Walker's biography of Snell's life, first published in 1750, provides a clue to what might have shaped ...

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Hannah Snell (1723–1792) by John Faber junior, 1750 (after Richard Phelps) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Talbot, Mary Anne [alias John Taylor] (1778–1808), sailor and soldier, was born on 2 February 1778 at 62 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, the youngest of her mother's sixteen children. Mary Anne was purportedly the illegitimate daughter of William Talbot, the first earl of Talbot...

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Mary Anne Talbot [John Taylor] (1778–1808) by G. Scott, pubd 1804 (after James Green) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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J. K. Laughton

revised by Andrew Lambert

Wallis, Sir Provo William Parry (1791–1892), naval officer, only son of Provo Featherstone Wallis, chief clerk to the naval commissioner at Halifax, Nova Scotia, was born at Halifax on 12 April 1791. His mother was a daughter of William Lawlor, major in the ...