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Abel, John (1578/9–1675), master carpenter, was probably born and lived at Sarnesfield, Herefordshire. A Catholic recusant, he was brought before a church court in 1618 for contracting a secret marriage with his wife, Johanna. She was still alive in 1640, when she appeared in a list of recusants with her husband. Few other facts are known about ...

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Adams, Robert (1917–1984), sculptor and designer, was born on 5 October 1917 at Far Cotton, Northamptonshire, the youngest of the three children of Arthur and Emily Adams. From about 1930 to 1951 he lived in Hardingstone, near Northampton. He left school at the age of fourteen and did manual work but probably between 1937 and 1946 attended evening classes, part-time, in life drawing and painting at the ...

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Aglio, Augustine Maria [formerly Agostino Maria] (1777–1857), painter and lithographer, was born on 15 December 1777 in Cremona, Italy, one of several children of Gaetano Aglio, a notary, and Marianna Mondini. He moved with his family in 1787 to Milan, where he was educated at the ...

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Cosmo Alexander (1724–1772) self-portrait, before 1745? Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums Collections

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Alexander, Cosmo (1724–1772), portrait painter and traveller, was born probably in Aberdeen, the son and pupil of the Aberdonian painter and engraver John Alexander (1686–c.1766), who had worked in Rome from 1711 to 1719, and his wife, Isobel Innes. John Alexander...

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See Venetian painters in Britain

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Peter Frederick Anson (1889–1975) by Howard Coster, 1933 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Anson, Peter Frederick (1889–1975), monk, writer, and artist, was born Frederick Charles Anson on 22 August 1889 at 32 South Parade, Southsea, the son of Charles Eustace Anson (1858–1940), subsequently rear-admiral, and his wife, (Maria) Evelyn, née Ross (1863–1904). His father came from a family with strong connections to the ...

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Edward Jeffery Irving Ardizzone (1900–1979) by Howard Coster, 1954 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Ardizzone, Edward Jeffery Irving (1900–1979), artist and writer, was born on 16 October 1900 in Haiphong, French Indo-China. He was the eldest child of Auguste Ardizzone (d. 1942), a naturalized Frenchman of Italian parentage, an employee of the Eastern Extension Telegraph Company...

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Arendrup [née Courtauld], Edith (1846–1934), artist and Roman Catholic religious sister, was born on 1 September 1846 at Bocking, Braintree, Essex, the younger child and only daughter of John Minton Courtauld (d. 1877), junior partner in Samuel Courtauld & Co., silk and crepe manufacturers, and his wife, ...

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Ashfield, Edmund (fl. 1669–c. 1680), pastellist, is known principally on the basis of a marginal note in the manuscript treatise 'Miniatura, or, The art of limning', by Edward Norgate (1581–1650): 'On Crayons', 'Mr Ashfield at red ball in Lincoln Inn field...

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Ashlin, George Coppinger (1837–1921), architect, was born on 28 May 1837 at Carrigrenane House, Little Island, co. Cork, the third of four children of John Musson Ashlin (d. 1838), a London corn factor, and Dorinda Maria, née Coppinger, whose family had well-established connections in Roman Catholic commercial and religious circles in the southern half of ...

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Atkinson, Thomas (bap. 1729, d. 1798), architect and mason, was baptized on 22 June 1729 at Holy Trinity Church, King's Court, York, the son of Thomas Atkinson (d. 1765), a mason, and his wife, Jane Marshall. He worked with his father on ...

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Dame Beryl Margaret Bainbridge (1932–2010) by Eamonn McCabe, 2002 © Eamonn McCabe

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Bainbridge, Dame Beryl Margaret (1932–2010), actress, writer, and artist, was born on 21 November 1932 at 294 Menlove Avenue, Allerton, Liverpool, the younger child of Richard Bainbridge, commercial agent, and his wife, Winifred, née Baines. Her father was a self-made man who left school at ten, established himself successfully in business, but then went bankrupt as a result of the 1929 financial crash. His wife, who considered that her husband had married above himself, was disappointed and embittered by the family's reduced circumstances, and the young ...

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Baker, William [name in religion Anselm] (1833–1885), heraldic artist and mural painter, was born in Birmingham on 23 January 1833, the son of Thomas Baker, a coach painter. He appears to have worked as a gun-stocker, and he learned to paint and draw at the ...

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See Barraud, William

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Barraud, Herbert Rose (1844/5–1896), photographer, was born in London, the second of nine children and the eldest son of the artist Henry Barraud (bap. 1811, d. 1874) [see under Barraud, William] and his wife, Anna Maria (d. 1892), daughter of ...

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James Barry (1741–1806) self-portrait, c. 1786 [completed 1803] by courtesy of the National Gallery of Ireland