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Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna (1831–1891), founder of theosophy, was born at Yekaterinoslav (Dnepropetrovsk), Ukraine, at midnight on 30–31 July 1831, the daughter of Colonel Peter Hahn (d. 1873), descended from the counts Rotenstern-Hahn of Mecklenburg, and of his wife, Helena Pavolovna Fadeev. She was a petted, wayward, invalid child whose mother, a novelist who advocated women's emancipation, died when she was small. From girlhood onwards she was a beguiling story-teller. On 7 July 1848 she married an older man, ...

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Farrer, Reginald John (1880–1920), traveller and plant collector, was born on 17 February 1880 at 3 Spanish Place, Marylebone, the elder of two sons of James Anson Farrer (1849–1925), barrister, whose country home was at Clapham in the North Riding of Yorkshire, and his wife, ...

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William Staite Murray (1881–1962) by unknown photographer, c. 1930 © reserved; unknown collection; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

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Murray, William Staite (1881–1962), potter and teacher of pottery, was born on 9 September 1881 at 103 High Street, Deptford, London, the third son of the six children of James Murray, merchant, and his wife, Arabella, daughter of Abel Staite, cheesemonger, of London...

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Needham, Rodney (1923–2006), anthropologist, was born Rodney Needham Green on 15 May 1923 at The Limes, Belle Grove Road, Welling, Bexley, Kent, the only son and eldest of three children of Horace Edward Green, a clerk in the War Office (later an official in the ...